Infosys independent director Ravi Venkatesan quits to pursue ‘exciting new opportunity’

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NEW DELHI, MAY 11
Infosys independent director Ravi Venkatesan has stepped down from the board with immediate effect, the IT behemoth informed the stock exchanges in a statement on Friday evening.
“This is to inform that Ravi Venkatesan, Independent Director has resigned as a director of the company with immediate effect to pursue an exciting new opportunity. Accordingly, the board took note of the same, ” Infosys said in the statement.
Infosys had appointed Venkatesan as the co-chairman of the board last year in April. He had been on the Infosys board since April 2011. Venkatesan along with R Seshasayee, the then chairman were seen as troubleshooters during the last few months of former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and MD (Managing Director) Vishal Sikka’s tumultuous stint before he dramatically resigned in August 2017 following months of disagreements with Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy.
Venkatesan’s tenure as co-chairman was brief and lasted till Nandan Nilekani became chairman in August 2017. “The board will miss his passion, strategic insights, and personal warmth, but he will always remain a friend,” said Nilekani on Venkatesan’s exit. In his farewell note to Venkatesan, Nilekani hinted that former board member’s next stint will be in the social sector. “Ravi (Venkatesan) 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,” the Infosys chairman said. Venkatesan’s resignation comes a month after the anonymous whistleblower who had in 2017 raised charges of irregularities by the Infosys board under former chairman Seshasayee, sent a letter to market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) demanding accountability from the board on its decision first to buy Panaya and Skava and then to sell them three years later.
“As a regulator I request you to ask the board of Infosys to fix accountability for this transaction and take action against people who had approved these transactions,” the whistleblower had said in the email.
Later, Infosys announced that it would be selling the two companies that it acquired in 2015 at a significantly lower value than the $320 million that it paid for them. The whistleblower had in particular questioned board members Ravi Venkatesan, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Punita Sinha and Roopa Kudva, who were all part of the board that approved these acquisitions, and now have seemingly agreed to the decision to sell them. On his departure from Infosys, 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. My seven years on the board have been exciting, rewarding and eventful. l feel fortunate to have been part of this extraordinary company at a seminal moment in its history and to have worked with so many fine colleagues on the Board and in management.

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