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Home-made veteran Murty is CEO

Apparently aiming to keep the faith with 50,000-plus employees and restless customers worried about execution of contracts, the government-nominated interim board named AS Murty, a 50-year-old global delivery head who has spent nearly 15 years in the company, to lead a revival, reports Ashok Das.

business Updated: Feb 06, 2009 10:41 IST
Ashok Das

Beleagured employees of fraud-mauled Satyam Computer Services got three wishes granted on Thursday: A revered insider as new CEO, two corporate veterans with financial expertise as advisers and Rs. 600 crore in bank approvals to breathe cash into the struggling system.

Apparently aiming to keep the faith with 50,000-plus employees and restless customers worried about execution of contracts, the government-nominated interim board named AS Murty, a 50-year-old global delivery head who has spent nearly 15 years in the company, to lead a revival.

Murty, a soft-spoken man with a hard-nosed focus on work, will be assisted by Homi Khusrokhan and Partho Datta as special advisers. Both are chartered accountants. Khusrokhan has served in companies like Tata Chemicals and Glaxo while Partho Datta has worked at the Murugappa group and Indian Alumnium Company.

“I have no misgivings about the enormity of the task in front of us, but together with my colleagues, I am confident we can accomplish the impossible,” Murty said.

“We will chart a precise and practical 30 – 60 – 90 day plan that will encompass and address the interests of all stakeholders.”

A new chief financial officer (CFO) is expected to be appointed in consultation with the CEO, whose appointment received a jolt when telecom tycoon B.K. Modi, who wants to take over Satyam, wondered how an interim board could name a permanent CEO.

“In our interactions over the past few weeks, we are convinced that Satyam needs an internal leader to steer it at this critical juncture and ASM has the required bandwidth and support,” board member Deepak Parekh said. The two special advisers, along with Boston Consulting Group, will work for free.

The board also confirmed receiving bank sanctions for a total sum of Rs 600 crore as a planned fund infusion towards working capital requirements. Satyam also reaffirmed that January 2009 salaries (globally) and the fortnightly salary in Februrary for its US based associates have been met from its internal accruals.

The law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, have been appointed as Satyam’s lawyers to address the Class Action suits in US.