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Kiran Mazumdar's tweet praising Rohan Murty kicks up dust

Last updated on: April 23, 2014 09:15 IST

Kiran Mazumdar's tweet praising Rohan Murty kicks up dust

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Itika Sharma Punit and Indulekha Aravind in Bengaluru

Even as the speculation over his exact role at Infosys continues unabated, Rohan Murty has already impressed the company’s newly-appointed independent director and Biocon chairperson, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

Mazumdar-Shaw, also a member of Infosys’ nominations committee, showered praise on the 31-year-old son of Infosys Executive Chairman N R Narayana Murthy, on microblogging site Twitter.

Her Saturday tweet read: “At a recent Infy board meeting, I was most impressed by Rohan Murty’s brilliant tech-loaded presentation, which will enormously benefit Infy.”

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Image: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
Photographs: Courtesy, Biocon

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Kiran Mazumdar's tweet praising Rohan Murty kicks up dust

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Mazumdar-Shaw was referring to a presentation Murty had made before the company’s board about the initiatives taken by the chairman’s office and their success so far.

Despite repeated attempts, she could not be reached for comments.

When contacted, another Infosys director, however, raised concerns over her act, saying board proceedings should not have been taken to the social media.

“I will certainly take this up with the chairman,” the person, who did not want to be named, said. Infosys refused to comment.

Proxy advisory firms say the tweet was uncalled for.

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Image: Rohan Murty.
Photographs: Courtesy, eecs.harvard.edu

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Kiran Mazumdar's tweet praising Rohan Murty kicks up dust

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“The presentation (by Murty) is not an issue, as the board has the power to call anyone to make a presentation.

“But if Mazumdar-Shaw is tweeting about the board meeting, she should really not be doing so,” said Shriram Subramanian, founder & managing director of corporate governance research firm, InGovern.

“The board can ask anyone to make a presentation, so let’s put that out of our way.

As far as Mazumdar-Shaw is concerned, she should not have done this.

What happens in the boardroom should stay in the boardroom. Going to the social media with such information is a little excessive,” said Amit Tandon, founder & MD of Institutional Investors Advisory Services.

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Image: NR Narayana Murthy.
Photographs: Reuters
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This is not the first time Murty has made a presentation to a high-level gathering at Infosys.

According to sources in the company, Murty, whose official designation is executive assistant to the chairman, had made a presentation at the company’s annual strategy meet in January this year.

According to InGovern’s Subramanian, while it was alright for chairpersons’ executive assistants to make presentations before the board, Murty’s role had remained rather unclear.

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Image: Rohan Murty (R) during his school days.
Photographs: Courtesy, eecs.harvard.edu

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Kiran Mazumdar's tweet praising Rohan Murty kicks up dust

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“Infosys is saying Murty’s tenure is co-terminus with his father’s.

Then why are they spending so much time on training him,” Subramanian asked.

“Murthy (the chairman) could instead have trained another Infosys employee who had spent more years at the company and could be a likely leader in the future.

“Why could he not give an opportunity to someone who would be more worthwhile,” he asked.

Twitter users seem to have taken umbrage to Mazumdar-Shaw’s tweet.

While one user caustically asked if this was a hint of Infosys having found its ‘rajkumar’ (prince), another asked: “Is this the beginning of the campaign to instate the heir on the throne?” 

Shaw dismissed the tweets, terming those ‘jabbering’ and ‘nonsensical’.

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Image: Employees walk in a forecourt at the Infosys campus.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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