Q-n-A with InGovern MD on Recently Concluded Infosys’ AGM

Infosys held its AGM on 14th June at Bangalore. However, two days before its AGM, the company ended speculation on its leadership changes by announcing Dr. Vishal Sikka as its MD & CEO. Infosys also announced that all of its promoters will be stepping down from the Board.

InGovern MD answered to queries of various journalists and media persons on the Executive Chairman‘s speech at the AGM. Listed below are some of the questions by reporters and their replies by InGovern.

Q. At the AGM, Mr. Murthy said: Somehow the company had diluted its focus on meritocracy and account-ability over the past decade. But he did not mention the reason for this. If any company dilutes its focus on meritocracy and accountability, then who should be held responsible and accountable for it?

A. The responsibility lies squarely with the CEO/MD. But, Mr. Murthy has generalized it by saying that the focus on meritocracy and accountability was diluted over the past decade! The 2003 to 2008 period was good for Infosys. It was the harsh times of 2008 and then when Mr. Shibulal took over as CEO that Infosys started implementing ridiculous policies which didn‘t foster meritocracy and accountability.

Q. Murthy also credited his son Rohan with all the major new initiatives in the last one year- “each and eve-ryone, without exception”. Your comments on this. Also, even if this is true, was this too lavish a praise? Was it necessary for Mr. Murthy to make this comment? Does this show Mr. Murthy in a defensive mode?

A. It doesn‘t behove a person like Mr. Murthy to say that each and every one of the new initiatives was due to his son! Maybe, there were inputs given by Rohan for all the initiatives, but, it would be naive to say that someone who hasn‘t had any industry experience comes in and gets all credit for all the new initiatives in a company. Many of the new initiatives‖ don‘t look like any new ideas, and have been around at Infosys for a long while. Also, it isn‘t clear whether any of the new initiatives have had any positive outcomes for the company. Also, Mr. Murthy succumbed to a behavioral bias of defending a decision (of bringing Rohan into the company) which was incorrect in the first place.