CHENNAI: Vishal Sikka’s resignation has cemented the battle lines inside India’s second largest IT firm, with the board of the company finally going on the offensive against co-founder NR Narayana Murthy for the first time. While, Narayana Murthy, and his co-founders, have been spearheading the campaign against alleged corporate misgovernance since last year, the board has refrained from criticising Murthy, who many consider inseparable from the company’s image.
This restraint has been thrown away post-Sikka’s announcement on Friday. The board squarely placed the blame for the development, stating that he had used the threat of media attacks to make inappropriate demands that were inconsistent ‘with his stated desire for stronger governance’.
More important is its categorical denial that it would offer him a formal role in governance. Speculation that the rift in the company could be healed over the last few months, have pivoted around expectations that Murthy would be offered such a role. Such a reconciliation seems unlikely now.
“Mr Murthy has demanded that the Board adopt certain changes in policy, else he will attack board members in the public, which threat was carried out when the Board did not acquiesce; He has demanded operational and management changes under the threat of media attacks; Mr. Murthy wanted the demands to be adhered to without attribution to him,” the board said in its statement.
Murthy, for his part, has stated that he is extremely “anguished” by the allegations and that he wasn’t seeking money, position for children or power. “It is below my dignity to respond to such baseless insinuations,” he added.