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‘Old sikkas not working, Vishal change in Infosys’: Corporate leaders tweet on Infosys row

Harsh Goenka, chairman of the $3.1 billion (revenue) RPG Group, has reacted on Vishal Sikka’s resignation as the Infosys CEO.

business Updated: Aug 18, 2017 13:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Vishal Sikka‬,‪Infosys‬,‪N. R. Narayana Murthy
In file photo, Infosys chief executive officer Vishal Sikka listens to a question during a press conference.(AP File Photo)

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka has announced his resignation following differences with some founders of the company, including NR Narayana Murthy.

The Infosys board of directors accepted Sikka’s resignation and appointed UB Pravin Rao as interim CEO and managing director, a company statement said.

Hours after Sikka announced his resignation, two business leaders tweeted about Sikka’s resignation in rare public reactions by corporate biggies over matters of disputes at a top firm.

Harsh Goenka, chairman of the $3.1 billion (revenue) RPG Group, tweeted: “To run an organisation effectively you need to humour and understand the axis of power. PM knows its the public and RSS. Cyrus, Sikka didn’t.”

Cyrus Mistry was ousted as chairman of Tata Sons in a boardroom coup in October last year after the company criticised his performance.

“Post demonetisation, old ‘sikkas’ not working. ‘Vishal’ change in Infosys. Old guard wins,” Goenka added in another tweet.

Sikka said he was leaving because of “a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions” that were hindering management of the company. He was the first non-founder CEO of the Bengaluru-based company. He joined Infosys in 2014.

Anand Mahindra, executive chairman of the Mahindra Group who tweets frequently and is followed by five million people, posted: “Crises are like a furnace that forges more durable steel. Infy is iconic & will always have people cheering for it. I certainly will..”

Murthy and some other founders recently complained over salary issues and large compensation packages paid to some senior employees who had quit the company.

The company said Sikka was made an executive vice-chairman. He will stay in that capacity until a new permanent CEO and managing director takes charge by March 31.

Many Twitter users supported Sikka over the issue as they reacted to Goenka’s tweet:

Shares fell as Sikka’s resignation sent the stock tumbling. Infosys shares fell as much 9.4% to their lowest since June 28, on way to their steepest intraday percentage loss since April 2013.

TV Mohandas Pai, former CFO of Infosys and former board member, told CNBC-TV18 there were several corporate governance issues that couldn’t be brushed under the carpet. “Vishal did well in the first two years but I think it was not working out,” he said. “You cannot take compensation for yourself and top 20 people and not pay others who deliver and get the revenue. There was a considerable amount of unhappiness among the employees,” he added.

With inputs from Reuters

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 13:07 IST