SEBI may question Infosys over hefty payout to former CFO: report
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the country’s apex market regulator, will seek a response from Infosys on several issues raised by a whistleblower in the company in a recent letter, a media report said today.
According to a report in The Economic Times, SEBI is currently examining the letter, which criticised Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka and the company’s board of directors over their handling of the severance payout to former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal and the acquisition of Panaya, for which Infosys paid six times the company's revenue.
A senior SEBI official was quoted as saying that the regulator would examine the response and see if there was any violation of securities laws.
Bansal received Rs 17.38 crore on leaving Infosys after 17 years at the company. The payout was among several concerns about corporate governance that were raised by Infosys founders in a letter to the Board last month and led to friction between the two parties.
The letter marked to the SEBI Chairman claims any contract modification to Bansal’s contract had to be cleared by Infosys’ audit committee. However, Sikka went ahead with hefty payout with formal board approval.
In addition, the letter also alleges that Bansal got 30 months’ salary though his contract stipulated a payout of only three months.
The letter said SEBI rules require transactions involving key management personnel to be disclosed as soon as they are entered into and that the board’s corporate governance report, given out on a quarterly basis, should have disclosed details of this transaction.
The report further quoted an Infosys spokesperson as saying that it would respond as per due process if it receives any query from the regulator.