Two days after Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy criticised the company for proposing to significantly increase the salary of its Chief Operating Officer, Pravin Rao, Infosys issued a detailed rebuttal, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday. The company said it had reduced Rao’s fixed pay and increased the variable, performance-based components. This would make Infosys more competitive and help it retain talent, chief executive officer Vishal Sikka said in a statement.
In an email to various news organisations on Sunday, Murthy had accused the administration of “poor governance standards” and said that the proposed pay hike for Rao could cause employees to lose confidence in the management. The hike was approved by co-founders, including Nandan Nilekani, and other investors, the company’s stock exchange filing said.
Maintaining that his opposition was not personal as he had hired Rao and “nurtured him”, Murthy had said the pay hike was “grossly unfair” to other employees. “Giving nearly 60% to 70% increase in compensation for a top-level person (even including performance-based variable pay) when the compensation for most of the employees in the company was increased by just 6% to 8% is, in my opinion, not proper,” Murthy’s email said.
Former Infosys director TV Mohandas Pai backed Murthy and said on Monday that it was Rao’s salary that was spectacular, not his performance.