BENGALURU: Infosys independent director Ravi Venkatesan has stepped down from the board with immediate effect to accept “an exciting new opportunity”. This is the first Board-level departure the company is seeing since Nandan Nilekani took over the chairmanship of the IT major more than eight months ago. Venkatesan has been an independent director since 2011 and served briefly as co-chairman from April 2017 at a time when co-founder N R Narayana Murthy was gunning for then company management led by Chairman R Seshasayee and CEO Vishal Sikka over corporate governance issues.
Venkatesan’s departure comes close on the heels of a whistleblower reportedly writing to the Securities and Exchange Board of India to take action against independent directors, including Venkatesan, over the Infosys’ board’s controversial decisions on the Panaya and Skava acquisitions. On his departure, Venkatesan said, “I joined the Board at a time when Infosys was beginning the complex journey of transitioning from founder-led to professional management. This was also a time of tectonic industry shifts. I am pleased that this mission has been accomplished.
Infosys is strong, in good hands, and is gaining momentum.” Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani hinted that that former board member’s next stint will be in the social sector. Acknowledging his contribution, Nilekani said, “Ravi has been a champion for driving social impact and it is desire to do more that led to his request for stepping off the Board. I am delighted that he will be pursuing an exciting opportunity in this area.” Nilekani also said the board would miss his passion, strategic insights and personal warmth. Venkatesan is also non-executive chairman of Bank of Baroda.