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Raju solicits support of employees

business Updated: Dec 30, 2008 20:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Ramalinga Raju, chairman, Satyam Computer Services, on Tuesday made an effort to reach out to over 50,000 worried employees of the fourth-largest software company, in an attempt to keep the professionals together.

In a letter addressed to employees, Raju said the board of directors, only five of whom are left now, and the leadership team is doing everything possible to get Satyam “back on track”.

“We cannot do this without your help,” the letter stated. “I ask for your continued faith in Satyam and for your steadfast focus on your customers.”

Satyam’s employees serve 690 clients in 65 countries, including 185 Fortune 500 companies.

Satyam has been in the eye of a storm ever since it was last week acrimoniously forced to abandon its plan to acquire Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties, both owned by Ramalinga Raju and his family members, for $1.6 billion.

Four non-executive directors, including Vinod Dham, the father of Intel’s Pentium chip, and M Rammohan Rao, dean of Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business, have quit since the uproar against the failed acquisition, citing violation of corporate governance norms.

In the letter, Raju hit out at the directors who quit. “The board arrived at its decision to bid for Maytas by following all required processes and procedures,” he wrote in the letter. “And while there was a spirited discussion among members, their vote to approve the motion was unanimous.”

Raju appealed to Satyam employees saying, “please be assured that the board and the leadership team are doing everything that’s possible to get Satyam back on track.” The employees have also been assured that Satyam’s customers continue to show a high level of trust in the company.

“We have also been in contact with many of our investors, and we have taken key steps to regain their confidence. These include strengthening the board by changing its size and composition, and engaging DSP Merrill Lynch to provide strategic advice and options.”

The remaining five members of the board of Satyam are meeting on January 10, 2009 to take stock of the situation.

TR Prasad, another of Satyam’s independent directors, said he wound not be resigning from the board. “I am of the view that resigning from the board now is like deserting a troubled ship.”