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Is Narayana Murthy Behind Vishal Sikka’s Resignation?

Sikka had performed better than the previous CEOs though he didn't get an outstanding run as the CEO. Narayan Murthy didn't say anything openly against Sikka but it is pretty clear that he resigned due to the ongoing brawl with the Infosys founder

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Vishal Sikka resigned from his position as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Infosys. He sent a mail to his employees explaining his reason for resignation and his journey at Infosys.

Sikka had performed better than the previous CEOs though he didn't get an outstanding run as the CEO. Narayan Murthy didn't say anything openly against Sikka but it is pretty clear that he resigned due to the ongoing brawl with the Infosys founder.

In his resignation letter, Sikka said, “the distractions that we have seen, the constant drumbeat of the same issues over and over again while ignoring and undermining the good work that has been done, take the excitement and passion out of this amazing journey.

Over the last many months and quarters, we have all been besieged by false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks. Allegations that have been repeatedly proven false and baseless by multiple, independent investigations. But despite this, the attacks continue, and worse still, amplified by the very people from whom we all expected the most steadfast support in this great transformation.”

Murthy Regrets Quitting As Chairman Of Infosys

N R Narayana Murthy in July said he regrets quitting as chairman of Infosys in 2014 and should have listened to other co-founders of India's second largest software exporter firm and stayed on.

 “A lot of my founder colleagues told me not to leave Infosys in 2014, to stay a few years. Generally, I find that I am a very emotional person. A lot of my decisions are based on idealism and probably, I should have listened to them,” he told CNBC TV 18.

Murthy had infamous run-ins with the management which was by Vishal Sikka over corporate governance issues.

In 2014, 33 years after starting Infosys, Murthy bid farewell to the company he had set up with six other co- founders. Murthy had the longest run of about 21 years as CEO before passing on the baton to Nandan Nilekani and then S Gopalakrishnan and S D Shibulal. In October 2014, former SAP board member Vishal Sikka took over as CEO.

Murthy, by then, was serving a second stint at Infosys as Chairman. While he was appointed as Chairman Emeritus with effect from October 11, 2014, Murthy turned down the offer.

Vishal Sikka Not A CEO Material

Sikka had been under fire and criticism off late particularly from Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. As reported by media on 17 August, Murthy had claimed in an email to some of his advisers that he had been told by at least three independent directors of the company that Vishal Sikka was more of a chief technology officer (CTO) material than chief executive officer (CEO) material.

“All that I hear from at least three independent directors, including Ravi Venkatesan (co-chairman), are complaints about Dr Sikka. They have told me umpteen times that Dr Sikka is not a CEO material but CTO material. This is the view of at least three members of the board, and not my view since I have not seen him operate from the vantage point of an Infosys board member,” Murthy was quoted in media.

Corporate Governance

Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy had earlier criticised and questioned the principles on which the company's board was paying Sikka such a high salary. Last month the Infosys founder also questioned the steep hike in the company's Chief Operating Officer (COO) U B Pravin Rao's compensation.

However, over the last few months, Murthy has been very vocal in criticising Infosys management on a slew of issues, including alleged lapses in corporate governance, CEO salary package and severance pay to former employees.


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