The year 2017 saw a number of high-profile corporate executives exiting for better opportunities or after unceremonious battles with founders. A few also involved scandals or displeasure over not getting enough freedom to operate.
Business Standard takes a look at the top exits of 2017:
Vishal Sikka, as Infosys CEO
The first non-founder chief executive officer (CEO) of Infosys stepped down from his post in August 2017. Co-founder N R Narayan Murthy’s verbal attacks on the company’s management for its vision and governance methods was said to have resulted in the resignation. In his resignation letter, Sikka blamed “distractions” preventing him from placing the second-largest information technology company on a more solid growth path.
Travis Kalanick, as Uber CEO
Travis Kalanick, the founder & CEO of global app-based can aggregator Uber, announced his resignation on 21 June 2017 amid pressure from a clutch of investors. His stepping down followed months of pent-up demand for action from investors, employees and the public, as the firm went from being a beacon of ‘everything great about Silicon Valley’ to ‘everything wrong with it’.
A co-founder and CEO of online viral video producer The Viral Fever (TVF), Arunabh Kumar had to give up his position after being charged with sexual harassment by many of his female colleagues. Kumar was asked to stay out of TVF and its operations after a senior official from hedge fund Tiger Global Management, which owns a 25 per cent stake in TVF, uncovered significant financial losses in the months after the allegations surfaced. The pressure from investors, particularly Tiger Global, finally led to Kumar’s exit in June 2017.
Arvind Panagariya, as Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog
Arvind Panagariya resigned as the vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog on 1 August, nearly two-and-a-half years after he assumed office at the body, formed just before his joining. Panagariya returned as a faculty member at Columbia University, from where he had taken leave to take up his job at the government think-tank.
D Shivakumar, as PepsiCo India CEO
PepsiCo India chairman & CEO D Shivakumar stepped down from his post and is set to join Aditya Birla Group. Ahmed El Sheikh, currently senior vice-president and general manager for PepsiCo Egypt and Jordan, would succeed Shivakumar as PepsiCo India CEO, the soft drink maker recently announced in a statement.