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Infosys CEO Payments Under Fire

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Members of technology services firm Infosys’ board are raising questions about payments made to the company’s CEO and other executives, reports said Thursday (Feb. 9).

Three of the company’s founders, Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan, have signed a letter that questions why CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary was increased, according to one unnamed source speaking with Bloomberg. The CEO reportedly had a $7.3 million base salary, benefits and bonus last year, up from just $680,000 base salary for at least part of 2015.

At the same time, revenue projections for the company — India’s second-largest firm — are at a 10 percent increase for the current fiscal year, down from a 17 percent increase the year before as businesses reduce cloud spending, reports said.

“Infosys is behaving in a much more non-transparent manner than in the past,” said InGovern Managing Director of Corporate Governance Shriram Subramanian in an interview. “At the same time, Infosys’ cofounders seem unable to cut off their umbilical cord with the company.”

In a statement, Infosys said its actions are guided by shareholder input.

“The board receives suggestions and inputs from various stakeholders, including promoters (founders), which are evaluated with due importance. The company will continue to be guided by the overall interests of all stakeholders,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

Some existing executives at the company have declined to comment on the manner or said there is no disagreement within the board. But one former CFO and director at Infosys, Mohandas Pai, said “corporate governance is weak, and the chairman does not understand the challenges of the business.” Another former CFO, Venkatraman Balakrishnan, told Bloomberg that the company provides “obscene severance packages” to departing executives.

“Infosys used to be the gold standard for corporate governance in India,” he said.

Infosys has recently championed the use of blockchain technology in India and is working with top banks in both India and the UAE to develop a blockchain-based trade finance and payments solution between the countries.

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