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'Drama going on in media very distracting,' asserts CEO Sikka

Pitted against a clutch of high-profile co-founders, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Monday said the "drama" going on in the media is "very distracting", even as the firm's longest serving chairman N R Narayana Murthy insisted concerns over corporate governance be addressed "properly."

Making his first public statement on the row that broke out after co-founders Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan wrote to Infosys Board questioning hike in CEO's compensation and severance pay to quiting executives, Sikka said the company is based on a very strong fabric.

"All this drama that has been going on in the media, it's very distracting. It takes away attention but underneath that there is a very strong fabric that this company is based," he said at an investor conference in Mumbai. "And it is a real privilege for me to be its leader," he added. Sikka said he has always shared a "heartfelt, warm relationship" with Murthy.

"My relationship with the founders? It is wonderful. I meet Mr Murthy quite frequently...I have always had a heartfelt warm relationship with Mr Murthy, probably meet him 4-5-6 times a year," he said, but added that he has not met the other founders off late. Sikka's comments came after a media report said Murthy is calling off his fight with the board as he was confident the IT giant he co-founded will deal with the concerns raised about corporate governance. But Murthy, who along with other co-founders holds some 13% interest in Infosys, said he has not withdrawn his concerns.

"No, I have not withdrawn my concern. They have to be addressed properly by the Board and full transparency should be displayed and people responsible for it should become accountable," he said.
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