One more independent director quits Satyam board

Sunday, December 28, 2008

BANGALORE - In a day of swift developments, independent director M. Rammohan Rao resigned from the board of IT major Satyam Computer Services, the company said Monday.

‘Yes, he (Rao) has resigned as the non-executive and independent director of the company’s board. We have intimated to the stock exchanges,’ company secretary V.S.N. Raju confirmed to IANS from Hyderabad by phone.

Rammohan Rao is the dean of the internationally-reputed Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad since 2004.

Earlier in the day, the Hyderabad-based beleaguered software export major announced that another independent director Vinod K. Dham and non-executive director Krishna G. Palepu had resigned from the board.

Independent director Mangalam Srinivasan had resigned Dec 25, owning moral responsibility for not casting a dissenting note against the acquisition of two realty firms - Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra, run by the two sons of Satyam founder-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, at the last board meeting in Hyderabad Dec 16.

Incidentally, Dham, Palepu and Srinivasan are all based in the US.

The spate of resignations by the independent directors follows the aborted bid to acquire the two realty firms for $1.6 billion (Rs.79.2 billion) in a bid to bail them out of credit squeeze.

Known as the ‘father of Pentium’, Dham has been on Satyam board since January 2003. He is currently the managing partner of IndoUS Capital LLC, a venture capital firm in the US that invests in Indian start-ups.

Palepu, who has also been on the board since January 2003, is the Ross Graham Walker professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School.

Srinivasan, who was with the board since 1991, is a leading management consultant and a visiting professor at many US universities. She is also on the board of directors of Technology Information Frontiers, a Hyderabad-based computer systems design firm.

Meanwhile, the top management has rescheduled the board meeting to Jan 10, from the earlier convened date (Dec 29) to consider a proposal for buy-back of shares by promoters, including Raju.

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