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Vishal Sikka resigns from Infosys: A chronology of the bitter war within

Sikka’s resignation brings the company’s internal tussle to spotlight, especially the issues founder NR Narayana Murthy had over matters such as salary hikes to executives.

business Updated: Aug 18, 2017 16:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vishal Sikka,Infosys,Vishal Sikka resigns
In a surprise move, Vishal Sikka resigned as Infosys’s chief executive officer and managing director on Friday. (AP File Photo)

Vishal Sikka, the chief executive brought in to turn around Infosys three years ago, resigned suddenly on Friday, blaming a “continuous drumbeat of distractions” and a long-running row with founders over the tech firm’s strategy.

Shares in the company fell by more than 13% after the surprise announcement.

UB Pravin Rao, Infosys’ chief operating officer, was named interim managing director and CEO. Rao will report to Sikka, who will take on the executive vice chairman role until a permanent CEO takes charge, which should be no later than end-March 2018, Infosys said.

The company’s board came out in support of Sikka and said in a statement that founder and former-chairman Narayana Murthy’s continuous assault was the main reason for Sikka’s resignation.

Murthy said he was “extremely anguished by the allegations, tone and tenor of the statements” and that his main concern was the deteriorating standard of corporate governance.

The Infosys Divide: From Vishal Sikka’s appointment to resgination
Photo: AP
  • Aug 2014: Vishal Sikka, former SAP AG executive board member, takes over from SD Shibulal as Infosys chief executive to revive fortunes of the company
  • Dec 2014: Some of Infosys’s founders - N.R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, SD Shibulal and K Dinesh - sell shares worth $1.1 billion in the company, cashing in on a more than 20 percent gain in the stock since Sikka’s appointment.
  • Feb 2016: Board decides to extend Sikka’s tenure by two years to 2021.
  • Feb 2017: Infosys says it addressed concerns about executive pay after media reported that its founders had complained about decisions including a pay hike for Sikka.
  • Feb 2017: Company reassures investors and analysts it was not being distracted by a dispute with founders.
  • April 2017: Founder Murthy criticises salary hike given to Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao
  • April 2017: Company announces $2 billion cash return to shareholders and appoints independent director Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman of board, moves seen aimed at placating some founders and former executives who were critical about the management.
  • Aug 2017: Sikka resigns as CEO, citing a stream of distractions and disruptions.
Source: Reuters

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 16:25 IST