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Pay hike for top executive terrible, says ex-Infosys CFO Balakrishnan

The comments follow eruption of a fresh row between the founders and the current management.

Pay hike for top executive terrible, says ex-Infosys CFO Balakrishnan
Echoing co-founder N R Narayana Murthy's view, former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan on Monday said a pay hike for a top executive is "terrible for any leadership" when subordinates were being asked to "sacrifice" on wages.

He reiterated the need for reconstituting Infosys board, stating that the golden standards of governance and value system that Infosys was known for is "being decimated under the current leadership".

The comments follow eruption of a fresh row between the founders and the current management.

"I tell all subordinates that you have to sacrifice and you have to make sure your wage increase will be less, we have to cut costs while I will take 40-50 per cent increase (in compensation hike), I think it is terrible for any leadership to do," he said.

He added that Infosys Chairman R Seshasayee should step down and the board reconstituted to ensure the governance and value system of the company are protected.

This is not the first time that questions have been raised on decisions taken by the Infosys board. Two months ago, high payouts to CEO Vishal Sikka and former employees, Rajiv Bansal and David Kennedy, had triggered a rift between the board and the company's founders.

The promoters -- which include the founders -- together hold about 13 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based company.

"I think Infosys is a golden standard in terms of governance, disclosure and value system. I think it is being decimated under the current leadership. I think the board is not acting the way it should be," Balakrishnan said.

Infosys -- India's second-largest software services firm -- had said in October that it would raise Rao's salary to include a fixed compensation of Rs 4.62 crore and a variable compensation of Rs 3.88 crore per annum, apart from stock compensation worth Rs 4 crore based on performance.

The resolution, which was put to vote between February 23 and March 31, saw only 24 per cent of the promoters voting in favour of the resolution while the rest abstained.

Overall, Rao's salary hike was passed with 67 per cent votes cast in favour and about 33 per cent of the votes against the proposal.

The latest salvo came after Murthy, in an e-mailed statement yesterday, criticised the board's decision on the steep rise in Rao's compensation, saying it was not "proper" given that most employees only received a 6-8 per cent increase in their salaries.
PTI

PTI

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