After the exit of Seshasayee and Sikka and the return of Nilekani, Venkatesan was relegated as an independent director.Infosys on Friday said its independent director Ravi Venkatesan has stepped down, making it the first exit from the company’s board since co-founder and chairman Nandan Nilekani took over at the helm last August. His resignation is effective from Friday.
The decision to step down comes a month after an anonymous whistleblower in a letter to Securities and Exchange Board of India and the US Securities and Exchanges Commission sought the resignation of independent directors including Venkatesan over its divergent stand on Panaya, the Israeli technology firm that Infosys has put on block.
Infosys in April said it is selling Panaya and Skava, two software firms that its former CEO Vishal Sikka acquired.
Venkatesan, a former Microsoft India chairman was brought in on the board of Infosys in 2011 by founder N R Narayana Murthy.During the tumultuous period when Murthy was up in arms against the Infosys board led by Chairman R Seshasayee over governance concerns at the company, Venkatesan tried to negotiate a settlement. He was also elevated as co-chairman at Infosys. After the exit of Seshasayee and Sikka and the return of Nilekani, Venkatesan was relegated as an independent director.
“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,” Venkatesan was quoted saying in a company statement.
Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Infosys, said Venkatesan’s contribution was pivotal for transitioning Infosys towards a “digital-first future”.