Infosys CEO quits after personal attacks
Infosys’ MD and CEO has resigned, citing a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions, and personal and negative attacks on his performance.
In his notice of resignation, Dr Vishal Sikka, complained of “false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks” from the company’s founders.
Sikka’s exit pushed Infosys shares down around 8% – and follows a dispute between him and the company’s founders (who still own 12.75% of the firm). Previously, the founders queried a pay rise to Sikka and severance payouts to others – which all clearly rattled Sikka.
Sikka says in the letter: “This continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity… inhibits our ability to make positive change and stay focused on value creation.”
Infosys says the firm’s founder, Narayana Murthy, has “undermined” the company.
“Dr Murthy’s continuous assault… is the primary reason that the CEO, Dr Vishal Sikka, has resigned despite strong support,” Infosys adds in a statement.
Sikka has been appointed executive vice-chairman, and will hold office until the new permanent CEO and MD takes charge, which Infosys says should be no later than 31 March 2018. U. B. Pravin Rao has been appointed interim CEO and MD.
Along with the founders’ comments, there were also anonymous attacks on Infosys.
As reported in February, Infosys fought back over allegations made by an anonymous whistleblower that its $200 million acquisition of Israeli firm Panaya was a big old mess.
The whistleblower said in an email that Infosys’ acquisition price in February 2015 was over the odds, as the company had been valued at $162 million by Israel Growth Partners. This latter firm made a $20 million investment to pick up a 12.31% stake.
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