One of the most sensational news for the India Inc. today is the resignation of Infosys CEO & MD, Vishal Sikka. With a short tenure of just three years, he has cited personal attacks and multiple disruptions as the reason behind his stepping down. The Board of Directors has already accepted his resignation. He reportedly would be appointed as the Executive Chairman of Infosys. Chief Operating Officer U B Pravin Rao has been made the interim CEO of the IT pacesetter. Sensex has fallen by 200 points and Infosys loses 8% shares instantly after this thunderous exit.
The corridors of IT businesses are buzzing with the exposition and speculations. Statement emanating from Infosys has specifically mentioned that Sikka would continue to be at the helm of affairs by handling strategic initiatives, key customer relationships, and development of technology.
This resignation comes as a surprise given the tumultuous history of Infosys after the founders have retired from top management positions. The most adulated founder, Narayana Murthy has been raising his diatribe against Sikka for his organizational tactics, raising questions about pay hikes and severance packages. His repeated criticism was simmering gradually and the industry was carefully taking cognizance with unease. Additionally, members of the management team also were unhappy with his style of functioning. Personal distractions to Vishal Sikka were also caused by multiple anonymous letters that had been surfacing since few months. The Infosys board has lambasted the critics for demonstrating unsubstantiated allegations against the CEO and morale of the company employees. A crucial decision on the share buyback proposal is on the priority pipeline. With an upcoming board meeting the very next day of his resignation, the next move of the principal management is highly anticipated.
Vishal Sikka has a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before joining Infosys, he was a member of the Executive Board and Global Managing Board of SAP AG, the giant German MNC. His tenure in Infosys has seen transformation decisions at the highest level. Infosys has successfully developed its own artificial intelligence platform NIA already deployed with 70 clients, under his benign leadership. Infosys launched more than 25 new services and the overall growth in revenue was 8.3 per cent. The IT major also reports higher margin performance and cash generation during Sikka’s incumbency.
Statements are pouring in from all sides reacting to his resignation. A former board member of Infosys has even mentioned his oust as a Machiavellian plot by other board members. Unofficial statements are already citing Narayan Murthy’s perpetual opprobrium as the reason behind his unnerved move. Co-Chairman Ravi Venkatesan is said to be highly disturbed with this turf of corporate war. Most recently, a fresh row engulfed the board when Murthy reportedly asked the management to make public a report of the audit it had commissioned on the acquisition of Israeli firm Panaya. He was also concerned about the other allegations regarding corporate governance at Infosys. Several top-notch executives have left the organization lately giving serious indications of an imminent need for restructuring of India’s second largest software exporter.
Vishal Sikka has even mentioned this statement in his letter, ‘”The Charlottesville incident here in the US demonstrated once again the power of words and silences to cause real damage, or to heal,”’. Such words are clear indications of his temperament.
Article by Mausam