Sunday, May 1, 2011

Critics do not know the sacrifices made by founders: Narayana Murthy

A day after the Infosys board announced leadership changes, its Chairman and Chief Mentor, Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy, took a swipe at those who criticised the IT giant for favouring founders for the top jobs in the company.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Murthy said critics do not realise the sacrifices the founders and their respective families made while building the company. “There are many people who comment on founders versus professionals. Unfortunately, none of them knows the kind of sacrifice the founder professionals made in the beginning.”

Explaining the hardship the founders and their families underwent in the early days of the company, he said, “Their wives cooked food for the employees, their wives carried out secretarial jobs while they lived on $250 a month in the US, and had to be away from their children. So, I think it is very easy to criticise and comment about founders and non-founders.”

In the leadership changes announced on Saturday, the current Chairman and Chief Mentor and one of the founders of the company, Mr Murthy has been elevated to the post of Chairman Emeritus while co-founders, Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan and Mr Shibulal, have been made the co-Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director respectively.

About his career spanning over three decades in Infosys, Mr Murthy pointed out that some of the lows were when his favourite colleagues had to leave the company under a cloud. “I had some lows (in my career at Infosys)… when one of my favourite senior colleagues had to leave the company under not-so-pleasant circumstances… when I had to take a decision all alone whether to accept the resignation of another colleague of mine. These were difficult situations, but, in the end, I am so happy that we did the right thing.”

Mr Murthy, who will demit office on August 20 this year, said he is willing to take up any post offered by the Government as long as he is able to do work which is close to his heart.

He would, however, look at an opportunity which allows him to work with youngsters and inculcate in them better work ethics and discipline.

On a larger canvas, he revealed that he was actively involved in the drafting of the Jan Lokpal Bill, and interacted with the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and the party's General Secretary, Mr Rahul Gandhi, on the issue.


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