New board appointed to resuscitate Satyam

Authorities select experts in finance, law and technology to restore company's credibility, customer confidence and employee morale

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  January 12, 2009

Indian authorities have appointed three prominent experts from the fields of technology, finance and law to serve on the new board for Satyam Computers.

The company is fighting to stay afloat after its founder and chairman B. Ramalinga Raju confessed to doctoring the company's accounts by $1 billion last week. Raju, along with his brother who was a former MD, and the former CFO have all been arrested and face several criminal charges.

Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta revealed that the three new board members are Deepak Parekh, head of the Housing Development Finance Corp. bank; Kiran Karnik, the former head of Nasscom - a trade body of technology companies; and C. Achuthan, director at the National Stock Exchange and a former member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

"The board's first priority would clearly be to restore the company's credibility, customer confidence and employee morale," said Gupta. "Such a board will provide the necessary vision, along with responsible and accountable leadership to the company in this hour of crisis," he added.

The board members are expected to meet shortly to choose who will serve as chairman among themselves.

The government may name up to seven more people to complete the board, with local media reporting that companies that hold Satyam shares are eager to influence director positions.

The Andhra Pradesh government is rumored to want its nominee on the board, adding fuel to fears that government influence could result in bureaucrats that don’t have the right financial or management skills being appointed to clean up a mess that threatens to destroy the reputation of India’s IT industry.

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