Three years after being appointed as the CEO and MD of India’s second largest tech firm, Vishal Sikka on Friday resigned from his post. Infosys COO UB Pravin Rao has been named as the Interim -MD and CEO of the firm. 

The board of directors of Infosys Limited in a meeting accepted the resignation of Dr Vishal Sikka as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with immediate effect.

The 50-year-old was the first non-founder CEO to head Infosys. His abrupt resignation has revealed the ongoing rift between him and founder Narayana Murthy. 

b’Source: Reuters’

What Sikka had to say about his resignation? 

In a resignation letter sent to his employees on Thursday, he wrote that it was difficult for him to constantly fight against ‘unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks’.

Some of the excerpts from his letter:

”I was, and remain, passionate about the massive transformation opportunity for this company and industry, but we all need to allow the company to move beyond the noise and distractions.

After much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust and empowerment”.

Read the entire resignation letter here.

b’Source: Reuters’

How has Infosys responded to the resignation?

Infosys earlier maintained that it was disturbed by the allegations made by Sikka and maintained that there is no merit to the accusations.

“A series of careful investigations found no merit to the unsubstantiated and anonymous allegations that had been asserted. The board denounces the critics who have amplified and sought to further promote demonstrably false allegations which have harmed employee morale and contributed to the loss of the company’s valued CEO,” the company said, reports Economic Times.

But Infosys Ltd later blamed founder N.R.Narayana Murthy’s ‘continuous assault and misguided campaign’ for the abrupt exit of Vishal Sikka. “Mr. Murthy’s campaign against the board and the company has had the unfortunate effect to undermine the company’s efforts to transform itself,” reports LiveMint. 

b’Narayana Murthy | Source: Reuters’

Murthy, however, expressed  anguish over the allegations and said that ‘he is not seeking money, position for children or power.’ He said that his only concern has been the deteriorating standard of corporate governance of Infosys, reports NDTV

What is the cause of the rift?

There have been reports of Sikka’s differences with Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy who had criticised him on several instances.

 According to a report by Hindustan Times, Murthy had publicly slammed Infosys in the past six to seven months for lapses in corporate governance. Murthy had also questioned salary hike given to Sikka and the way he handled the organisation.

How did the resignation affect the company?

According to a report by LiveMint, Infosys shares touched a low of Rs 944 a share and fell as much as 7.55%, its steepest fall since 9 November 2016 after this news. Investors lost close to Rs 1,7000 crore market capitalisation.

b’Vishal Sikka | Source: PTI’

What next for Infosys?

As of now, COO U B Pravin Rao has been appointed as the interim CEO but the company has initiated the search for the post. 

“The succession plan for appointment of a new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has been operationalised by the board and a search for the same has been commenced,” an official statement said, reports PTI.

What next for Sikka?

Sikka, an Indian-American who was earlier the tech head at SAP, had joined Infosys in June 2014. After his resignation, he has been appointed as the executive vice chairman of Infosys for which he will receive an annual salary of $1.

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: Reuters)