Vishal Sikka resigned on Friday as Infosys CEO and Managing Director and will be replaced by U B Pravin Rao with immediate effect. The board of the country’s second-largest software services company accepted the resignation of Sikka with immediate effect and appointed him as Executive Vice Chairman.
In a filing to BSE, the company said, “Sikka reiterated his belief in the great potential of Infosys, but cited among his reasons for leaving a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions over the recent months and quarters, increasingly personal and negative as of late, as preventing management's ability to accelerate the Company's transformation.”
U B Pravin Rao has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
"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," Infosys said in a statement.
"I started my journey as the CEO of this iconic Company with a mission totransform it on the basis of software, especially [artificial intelligence], and innovation, enabled by education. Three years later, I feel proud of our progress and achievements, from profitable revenue growth to rapid purposeful adoption of software, new services and grassroots innovation, to the extraordinary recognition from our clients worldwide. I am deeply grateful to our Board for providingme with strong support and guidance, and especially wish to thank our Chairman [Seshasayee] for his extraordinary and thoughtful stewardship, and look forward to working together on a smooth transition. Congratulations to my friend and partner Pravin on his appointment, and heartfelt thanks to all Infoscions for their warmth, amazing support and the sparks of their imagination," said Sikka in his resignation letter.
This move comes a day after Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy claimed in an email to some of his advisers that he had been told by at least three independent directors of the company that Vishal Sikka was more chief technology officer (CTO) material than chief executive officer (CEO) material.
Murthy has publicly lambasted Infosys over the course of the past six-seven months for lapses in corporate governance (allegations the company has denied repeatedly). In the latest email, he went on to criticize the board for failing to uphold the company’s famed governance standards and not creating “checks and balances required in any well-run company”.
“I have nothing against Dr Vishal Sikka. I enjoy spending time with him. I have never commented about his strategy or its execution,” Murthy wrote in the email. “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.”