Infosys Ltd., the second-largest provider of software services in India, announced its general counsel and chief compliance officer, David Kennedy, was leaving the company effective December 31. The announcement was considered noteworthy because of its seemingly sudden nature and the fact that Kennedy received a $1 million severance package upon his departure.
His severance package includes a payment of $868,250 plus reimbursements for insurance paid out over a period of 12 months. Kennedy was able to revoke acceptance of that agreement within a week after the announcement, but declined to do so.
Eight executives have left Infosys within the last two years, including a former head of consulting and a former chief financial officer. The company had also faced questions and criticisms regarding the CFO’s severance package, though investigations revealed no wrongdoing. Now, similar questions surround the way the company has handled Kennedy’s departure.
Typically, if an employee voluntarily leaves a company, there is no severance pay, and the employee works through a “notice” period. In this case, Kennedy’s departure was effective immediately, and he had a particularly large severance package, leading some to wonder if the company was being untruthful in its reports of what actually happened to cause Kennedy to depart Infosys. The decision also came just two months after Kennedy was given a pay increase.
Other industry experts say the severance size does not sound particularly high for a company of that size and a position of that importance. Still, there is some question as to the timing of the decision.
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