Satyam director went by ‘conscience’ to quit board

December 26th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 26 (IANS) Mangalam Srinivasan, who resigned as an independent director on the board of the beleaguered Satyam Computer Services Ltd, Friday said she went by conscience to call it quits.”I went by my conscience to resign as an independent member of the Satyam board, owning moral responsibility for not opposing in writing the management’s decision to buy out the two Mayatas firms,” the US-based Srinivasan told IANS over phone.

In a belated move, the Hyderabad-based IT bellwether informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Friday afternoon that the non-executive and independent director had resigned from the board late Thursday.

Srinivasan’s resignation comes in the wake of the top management’s aborted bid to acquire Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure for $1.6 billion (Rs.79.2 billion) Dec 16 in a bid to bail out the two realty firms, partly owned by the two sons of Satyam’s founder-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju.

Declining to detail the reasons for resigning from the board of directors with which she had been associated since 1991, the 69-year-old Srinivasan said she had been thinking about it for a while and decided to take a call Thursday.

“I have not resigned under any pressure. It’s a personal decision as explained in my letter to Raju. I would not like to comment or go into details,” Srinivasan said.

In her resignation letter, Srinivasan told Raju that she was taking moral responsibility for not casting a dissenting vote against the acquisition of Maytas.

“I am sending this letter to let you know that while I raised many of the issues related to the procedures and had expressed my reservation during the Satyam board deliberations, I had not cast a dissenting note against the acquisition of Maytas, for which I take moral responsibility,” Srinivasan wrote.

“Under the circumstances, I am left with no other option but to resign effective immediately from the board I had cherished,” she added in the letter.

Asked whether she was prompted to quit a week after the aborted bid and prior to the next board meeting convened Dec 29 to consider the buyback of shares by the promoters, Srinivasan said there was no connection between the two.

“It will not be fair to talk any more about the company as I have already quit and my resignation has been accepted,” Srinivasan contended.

A leading management consultant and a visiting professor at many US universities, Srinivasan is an advisor to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Massachusetts. She is also on the board of directors of Technology Information Frontiers Ltd, a Hyderabad-based computer systems design firm.

Srinivasan, who holds a doctorate in technology from George Washington University, an MBA degree from the University of Hawaii and an MA in English from Madras University, is currently in India on a sabbatical with family.

Following Srinivasan’s resignation, the nine-member Satyam board has five independent directors, two executive directors from promoters’ side, a whole-time and a non-executive director.

The five independent directors are V.P. Rama Rao, Vinod K. Dham, Mendu Rammohan Rao, T.R. Prasad and V.S. Raju. Ram Mynampati is the whole-time director, while Krishna G. Palepu is the non-executive director.

Ramalinga Raju and his brother B. Rama Raju are promoter-directors.

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