Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka resigns
Vishal Sikka, Infosys CEO and managing director has resigned. The Board of Directors of the country’s second largest software exporter accepted his resignation “effective immediately,” a statement issued by the company said.
Mr. Sikka has been appointed executive vice chairman effective Thursday and will hold office until a permanent chief executive officer and managing director takes charge, which should be no later than March 31, 2018, the statement said.
Mr. Sikka will continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development and chief operating officer U. B. Pravin Rao has been appointed interim chief executive officer and managing director reporting to him under the overall supervision and control of the Board, the statement said.
Mr. Sikka 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,” the statement said.
“The Board understands and acknowledges Dr. Sikka’s reasons for resignation, and regrets his decision. In particular, the Board is profoundly distressed by the unfounded personal attacks on the members of our management team that were made in the anonymous letters and have surfaced in recent months.”
N.R. Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys, over the past couple of months, has raised issues of corporate governance and salary increases for Mr. Sikka and Mr. Rao. Mr. Murthy also wanted to make public a report on the investigations on buying Panaya for $200 million.
“As the Board has previously stated, 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 statement said.
R. Seshasayee, chairman of the Board, said: ”Vishal has made a seminal contribution to the transformation of Infosys, and he will be remembered for infusing a refreshed sense of direction, purpose, and energy in the organisation. His vision for the future of the industry and the company will remain a strong reference point as we chart the future course for Infosys in this new era in our rapidly evolving industry.”
Mr. Sikka will receive an annual salary of $1 during his tenure as executive vice chairman. Any company equity awards held by him that remain outstanding and unvested shall, during his term as executive vice chairman, remain outstanding and shall continue to vest (and, in the case of stock options, become exercisable) in accordance with their terms.
The Board has mandated the chairman and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee to expeditiously identify and select a permanent CEO and managing director, the statement said.
In a statement, Mr. Sikka said:
“I started my journey as the CEO of this iconic company with a mission to transform 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 providing me 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.”
Ravi Venkatesan, co-chairman of the Board, said: “I want to thank Vishal for his commitment to ensure a smooth transition and his commitment to a seamless experience for our clients. Pravin is a veteran Infoscion with deep knowledge of the business, and his long experience in the company will help ensure a smooth transition.”
-AUGUST 18, 2017 I Bangaluru