Satyam to get new CEO next week (Second Lead)

January 23rd, 2009 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 23 (IANS) Embattled Satyam Computer Services will get a new chief executive officer (CEO) of “global standing” next week, and the company will finalise before Jan 28 funding arrangements to ensure smooth operations till March-end, the government-appointed directors said Friday.The six directors making up the new board of the fraud-hit company said they “have narrowed the shortlist for the CEO and CFO (chief financial officer) positions to the final three, and would finalise the decision in the ensuing week”.

The directors, meeting for the third time in 13 days, took the media by surprise by communicating their decision to the Bombay Stock Exchange rather than releasing the statement to the press, like they did after their second meeting Jan 17.

Titled “Satyam board announces decisive action on key issues”, the communication was hosted on the BSE website and also on Satyam’s site.

The two-day meeting, which ended Friday, was chaired by Tarun Das, mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The other members of the board are Deepak Parekh, chairman of the Housing Development and Finance Corp (HDFC), former president of software industry body Nasscom Kiran Karnik, former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) member C. Achuthan, former head of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India T.N. Manoharan, and Life Insurance Corp nominee S.B. Mainak.

“The selected person will be uniquely qualified to lead the company during this period of transition and will be a leader of global standing and recognition,” the directors said in the communication.

“We fully recognise the urgency and importance to have the right person with the right experience and abilities to successfully steer the company thorough these turbulent times,” they added.

To meet operational expenses, including salaries and vendor payments, the board said, “Additional funding arrangements are in the final stages of being concluded”.

“This is expected to be formally announced before Wednesday, Jan 28, and will address the company’s operational needs till end of March 2009, the communication said, quoting Parekh.

The board is yet to decide on appointing an investment banker. “The board also met and interacted with a number of investment bankers and will take a decision in the next few days,” the statement said.

Regarding clients, it said the board members have spoken to almost two dozen key customers individually. “Contrary to common perceptions, existing customers continue to release new work orders and are expressing positive opinions on the timely delivery.”

“A few large customers have already visited the company’s development centres in India and have expressed their satisfaction on the team’s commitment towards their projects,” it added.

“There is a pronounced shift in customer attitudes - from being alarmed in the initial days, it has changed to a sense of cautious optimism. The planned actions will have a distinct impact on the customer confidence” the communication quoted Karnik as having said.

“Customer attrition is being closely monitored at the board level and the board confirmed that it has seen no material impact so far,” it said.

On employees’s front, the statement said “the attrition remains well under control”.

The board is expected to meet again for two days on Jan 26 and Jan 27, it said.

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