At its board meeting held on August 18, the Board of Infosys accepted the notice of resignation of Vishal Sikka as the Managing Director and CEO, effective immediately.
In his notice of resignation to the Board, Sikka reiterated his belief in the great potential of Infosys, but 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 board understands and acknowledges 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, a company statement said.
As the board has previously stated, a series of careful investigations found no merit to the unsubstantiated and anonymous allegations that had been asserted.
However, the company has denounced 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.
Meanwhile, the company has made some arrangements as per which Sikka has been appointed as Executive Vice Chairman effective today, and will hold office until the new permanent Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director takes charge which will happen by the fiscal-end.
Sikka will continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development. He will report to the company’s board, while UB Pravin Rao has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director reporting to Sikka under the overall supervision and control of the company’s board.
Sikka will receive an annual salary of $1 during his tenure as Executive Vice Chairman. Any company equity awards held by Sikka that remain outstanding and unvested shall, during his term as Executive Vice Chairman, remain outstanding and shall continue to vest in accordance with their terms.
When Sikka took over, the company was lagging behind industry growth. During Sikka’s tenure as CEO, Infosys revenues have grown from $2.13B in Q1FY15 to $2.65B this past Q1, with strong margin performance and cash generation, throughout his tenure. Sikka’s approach to profitable growth delivered increase in liquid assets from $4.9B in June 2014 to $6.1B in June 2017, while paying dividends of over Rs 19,000 crore (including dividend distribution tax) over these three years.
“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 organization. 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. On behalf of our entire board of directors, I wish him well for the future,”R Seshasayee, chairman of the board, said.
Sikka commented, “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”