Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigns, what's next?
Bitter showdowns with the founders, continuous high profile exits and dismal financial condition of Infosys have finally broken down the resilient Vishal Sikka. According to reports, he has now resigned from the CEO post after facing severe flak from all quarters of his organization. In his absence, UB Pravin Rao will be serving as the interim CEO.
This exit comes in the backdrop of Infosys Ltd founder Narayana Murthy recently mailing some of his advisors that he had been told by at least three independent directors of the firm that Vishal Sikka was "more chief technology officer (CTO) material than chief executive officer (CEO) material." It can be safely ascertained that this was a leading cause of the exit.
Infosys released a statement saying, "The succession plan for appointment of a new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has been operationalized by the Board and a search for the same has been commenced." According to the filing, henceforth Sikka will be acting as the executive vice-chairman of the firm.
Former CEO of Infosys Mohandas Pai speaking on the future said, that the firm would probably now hire someone who is more attuned to company's goals. On Murthy's letter, he said, "There has been no interference by Murthy on the business, he has raised questions as he is entitled to." Upon being asked if he would like to return as the CEO, he said he has no such intentions.
Infosys' shares were on a rise on the hopes of a buyback. Post this announcement they have gone down almost 7.05%, at the time of writing. It is expected to go further downhill as the investors would panic knowing that the board has left the topmost position empty with no proper substitute in mind in these trying times.
Vishal Sikka in a statement to Bloomberg Quint said, "I am deeply grateful to our Board for providing me with strong support and guidance…and look forward to working together on a smooth transition." Rumours are also afloat that Nandan Nilekani would come back to Infosys to stabilize the firm during these rather tough times.
"I am clear in my decision. It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years... I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks."