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Former Chief Financial Officer of Infosys, T V Mohandas Pai, has pitched for the return of company’s co-founder N R Narayana Murthy as chairman emeritus, saying the move would improve its brand and assure investors about adherence to high corporate governance standards. He also pushed for nominating two new board members representing the founders, who still hold 13 per cent stake and classified as promoters, at the Bengaluru-headquartered IT major to give “continuity” to the company. Pai bracketed Murthy, along with J R D Tata and Dhirubhai Ambani, as the three biggest business icons India has ever produced. “My personal view is Narayana Murthy should come back as chairman emeritus,” he told PTI, noting that the role is not a legal position nor has it something to do with strategy-related matters. “As chairman emeritus, people can look up to him to give his views...these are (views on) governance, nothing to do with management, strategy and all that. May be Murthy should come back as Chairman Emeritus, where he has no operational responsibility,” Pai said. He sought to draw a parallel with Ratan Tata, who is chairman emeritus of the Tata Sons, which is the promoter of the major operating Tata companies and holds significant shareholding in them. “Ratan Tata felt something was going wrong, he gave his views. So, for great companies which have great founders, Chairman Emeritus position is there where you can express your views,” Pai said. Describing Murthy as a business icon, Pai said he is more than eminently suited to hold that position. “Murthy is one of the greatest business icons in the world.
J R D Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani and Narayana Murthy are the three biggest business icons India has ever produced. They are all business icons in different phases of India’s growth,” he said. Murthy is passionate about governance standards because the company had set them for India and emerging markets, Pai said. “We hope that this matter (issues raised by Murthy) can be amicably resolved, with at least two nominees representing the founders. It’s okay (to have at least two new board members representing the founders) because these (the founders) are still classified as promoters by Sebi,” he said.