Amid a row in Infosys between the company’s co-founders and the board and CEO Vishal Sikka, the IT giant’s former CFO V. Balakrishnan on Tuesday demanded the buyback of shares to protect the interest of shareholders.
“Cash should be returned to the shareholders. Company is no more a growth stock, it is value stock. When the transition happens, every company across the world returns cash to shareholders. The company should protect the shareholders’ value. Buyback is better than the declaring dividends. They should return more money to shareholders,” he said in an interview with BTVi.
He said it seemed that Infosys became a “finance company” rather than an IT company.
“I had lost my attachment to the Board because I wrote a letter to the board for buyback. The board never engaged with this. They never even replied or acknowledged the letter. The board is the big let-down as far as I am concerned,” he added.
Balakrishnan urged to the investors to tell the board and management to do a large buyback to protect shareholders’ value which has not gone up in the last few years. “And the buyback is the best option,” he said.
On the clarification made by the board on the ongoing row, he said that “some of the answers were very vague”.
“It is not about individual. It is about institution. The board should address the governance issues. If they do not address, somebody has to take the responsibility. The board should effectively engage the largest shareholders who are the founders,” he said.