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Vishal Sikka Quits as Infosys CEO and MD, Cites 'Malicious, Personal Attacks'

Vishal Sikka on Friday stepped down as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of tech giant Infosys.

Updated:August 18, 2017, 1:20 PM IST
Vishal Sikka Quits as Infosys CEO and MD, Cites 'Malicious, Personal Attacks'
Vishal Sikka had taken over as Infosys CEO in June 2014.
New Delhi: Vishal Sikka on Friday stepped down as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of tech giant Infosys citing “continuous distractions and disruptions" as the reason.

Chief Operating Officer UB Pravin Rao has been given the interim charge, while Sikka has been made the Executive Vice-Chairman.

In a letter to Infosys employees, Sikka referred to “increasingly personal attacks against him”. “I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks,” Sikka said in the letter which he later shared on his blog.

“I now need to move forward, and return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges, as can each of you,” he added.

In its communication to the markers, Infosys said it had accepted Sikka’s resignation. "...The board of directors of Infosys Limited has at its meeting today accepted the resignation of Dr Vishal Sikka as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with immediate effect," the IT firm said in a BSE filing. Sikka has been appointed as the Executive Vice-Chairman, Infosys said.

"The succession plan for appointment of a new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has been operationalized by the board and a search for the same has been commenced," Infosys said.

The company’s stocks tanked over 6% in early morning trade after Vishal Sikka’s resignation. Following the announcement, the stock fell to Rs 958.00, registering a fall of 6.62% over its previous closing price on the BSE.


Similar movement was seen on the NSE as well where the stock opened at Rs 1,017.90, fell to Rs 952.30, down 6.71 per cent over its previous close.

In a statement, the software giant expressed "regret" over Sikka's decision, but said it accepted his resignation.

vishal sikka_Revised

Sikka’s resignation comes amid reports that Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, in an email to advisors, quoted three independent directors of the company as saying that Sikka was not “CEO material”, but more suited to be the chief technology officer.

“All that I hear from at least three independent directors, including Mr Ravi Venkatesan, are complaints about Dr Sikka. They have told me umpteen times that Dr Sikka is not a CEO material but CTO material. This is the view of at least three members of the board, and not my view since I have not seen him operate from the vantage point of an Infosys board member,” Murthy said in the email which was reportedly dated August 9.

"I have nothing against Dr Vishal Sikka. I enjoy spending time with him. I have never commented about his strategy or its execution… My problem is with governance at Infosys. I believe that the fault lies with the current board. If the board had not embraced inaction and had ensured proper governance then they could have created checks and balances required in any well-run company. That, alas, does not exist today," Murthy reportedly said in the email.

Sikka had taken over the reins in 2014.

His successor, Pravin Rao, has been the Chief Operating Officer with overall strategic and operational responsibility for the entire portfolio of the company’s offerings.

Hi profile on the company’s website said he is also the chairperson of Infosys BPO with over 30 years of experience. Since joining Infosys in 1986, he has held a number of senior leadership roles, including Head of Infrastructure Management Services, Delivery Head for Europe, and Head of Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, Logistics and Life Sciences, it said.

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