February 14, 2017 / 5:27 PM / 6 months ago

Infosys seeks to reassure investors over governance

An employee is seen behind an Infosys logo at the company's campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore September 23, 2014.Abhishek Chinnappa

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian IT services group Infosys (INFY.NS) on Tuesday reassured investors and analysts it was not being distracted by a dispute with its founders over how it was being managed.

India's second-biggest IT services company behind Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) has been locked in a public war of words with founders and former executives, who, led by N.R. Narayana Murthy, have raised concerns over various decisions taken by the board.

"There is a very strong focus on execution by our management team, our leadership team is absolutely heads down on closing of the year and for the next year ahead," Chief Executive Vishal Sikka said on a call with analysts and investors. "There are no questions from clients," Sikka said, in response to a question. "In fact, several clients have written notes of support."

The company's founders, who still own 12.75 percent of the group, have questioned a pay rise granted to Sikka and the size of severance payouts given to others, including former finance head Rajiv Bansal, among other issues.

In a news conference on Monday evening, Infosys board members including Chairman R. Seshasayee had defended Sikka's salary and said they had improved rules around severance payments since the agreement with Bansal.

The board was engaging with the founders, Seshasayee said.

However, V. Balakrishnan, another former finance chief at Infosys who has criticised the company's management and the board over governance issues, said the differences between the two sides had yet to be resolved.

"I think a lot more questions are unanswered," Balakrishnan told Reuters on Tuesday, calling Monday's news conference "disappointing".

Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy, Promit Mukherjee and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Jane Merriman and David Holmes

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