VISHAL SIKKA, 50 resigned from the post of managing director and chief executive officer of the company with an immediate effect. Infosys stated in an official statement.
He was working in the company for past 3 years, a tenure which had started to show glimpses of revival at India’s second largest software services company but got increasingly messy since last year due to slower revenue growth and a tussle with the founders and then resigned from his post with an unconventional and lengthy letter blaming “personal attacks”.
U B PRAVIN RAO has been given the interim responsibility for both the posts and Sikka has been appointed executive vice-chairman and will hold office until a permanent CEO takes charge, which should be no later than end-March 2018, Infosys said in a statement. Though Sikka did not name anybody in a parting letter to Infosys employees, the board said company co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s “continuous assault and misguided campaign” was the main reason behind the exit.
Sikka in his official blog stated that “After a lot of reflection, I have resigned from my position as your MD & CEO effective today. A succession process has been initiated, with Pravin serving as interim MD & CEO, and I will work closely with the Board and management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, I have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Chairman of the Board to further ensure continuity until the new management is in place.” And he also wrote that “I have decided to leave because the distractions, very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust, and empowerment”
The resignation came a day after it emerged that Murthy had expressed doubts over Sikka’s ability to lead the company, India’s number 2 software services exporter. In an email to some of his advisers, Murthy said he had been informed by at least three other independent directors of the company that Sikka was more as chief technology officer (CTO) material than CE0 material.
Sikka succeeded Murthy as Infosys head three years ago, the first non-founder to head the software giant.
Infosys has been battling both internal and external challenges in terms of uncertain global economic environment and high-profile founder N.R. Narayana Murthy socially criticizing the company for past six to seven months for alleged lapses in corporate governance, allegations the company has denied repeatedly. In the last few months, the country’s second largest software firm has seen a number of senior-level executives resigning. They include Anirban Dey (Global head and chief business officer of Edge products), Yusuf Bashir (MD, Infosys Innovation Fund) and Ritika Suri (executive vice-president).
Reacting to these top- level exits, earlier this month, Vishal Sikka had dismissed views suggesting senior-level exits at the company were a cause of concern, saying the attrition is “far lower” than other firms.
“To run an organization effectively you need to humor and understand the axis of power. PM knows it’s the public and RSS. Cyrus, Sikka didn’t.”; chairman of the $3.1 billion (revenue) RPG Group, Harsh Goenka posted this on his twitter account.
“It happens in every company. We actually did an analysis, both in terms of our own past as well as in terms of the other companies in our industry. And there are far more executives who have left every other company that we could think of,” Sikka had added.
Sikka’s resignation sends Infosys shares plunging more than 12% before recovering slightly
The Sensex also shed more than 357.48 points in trading till afternoon.