Amid reports of tension between Infosys founders and its senior executives, CEO Vishal Sikka today said that he has always shared a ‘heartfelt, warm relationship’ with co-founder Narayan Murthy who had recently raised concerns over certain decisions taken by the company.
"My relationship with the founders? It is wonderful. I meet Mr Murthy quite frequently...I have always had a heartfelt warm relationship with Mr Murthy, probably meet him 4-5-6 times a year," he replied when asked about his relationship with the founders.
Sikka, however, was quick to add that ‘he hasn't met the other founders off late’.
The reaction comes at a time when Murthy and others have raised questions over board’s decision to give a hefty hike to Sikka and a huge severance pay to two former executives, Rajiv Bansal and David Kennedy.
Describing Murthy as an ‘incredible man’, Sikka said that the two usually discussed topics like quantum physics and technology whenever they met.
"The other day he was telling me about the Paris Metro and how he worked on the Paris Metro in the 1970s before he started Infosys, and it had this whole ideas about automation and autonomous driving and all," he reminisced.
Sikka, speaking at Kotak's Chasing Growth Conference in Mumbai, further said that the ‘drama’ going on in the media was very ‘distracting’.
"It takes away our attention but underneath that, there is a very strong fabric that this company is based on. And it is a real privilege for me to be its leader," he added.
Sikka is scheduled to meet media representatives this evening along with some of the Board members.
Infosys, on its part, has denied any governance lapses and said it has made ‘full disclosures’ on all developments. Another issue that some of the former senior executives have raised is the huge cash pile of USD 5.25 billion 9over Rs 35,000 crore) that Infosys has.
Asked about his views on the matter, Sikka said his ‘official’ answer is that the Board, from time to time, will consider capital allocation policies and when there is something to report, the company will do so.
"The unofficial answer is, you look at the circumstances over the next 4-5 years, what you need the capital for and then decide. In our case, it is the strategic growth initiatives, capital for building infrastructure and then acquisitions," he said.
Based on how that mix changes over the next 5 years, one takes a decision on how the cash is utilised, he added.