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August 18, 2017

Infosys CEO resigns following “drumbeat of distractions”

Will the relationship between the Infosys leadership and the company's founders improve or continue to cause instability?

By Tom Ball

Vishal Sikka has resigned as Infosys CEO, with the role set to be filled by chief operating officer, U.B. Pravin Rao.

There has been friction between the firm’s leadership and its founders who still command almost 13 per cent of Infosys, particularly in regard to C-suite pay, with both the former CEO and the COO who has replaced him having faced questions.

In an extensive resignation letter, the departed CEO commented on a range of topics including Brexit, Charlottesville, and President Trump. He also commented on the top tech trend, artificial intelligence.Infosys CEO resigns following “drumbeat of distraction”

In his resignation letter, since made public on Friday, Mr Sikka said: “This continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity over the last several months/quarters, inhibits our ability to make positive change and stay focused on value creation. Addressing the noise by itself is damaging; hundreds of hours of my own time has gone into this recently.”

Hours prior to Mr Sikka’s resignation, a private email from founding chairman Narayana Murthy was made public, the email detailed leadership doubts held by a number of board members.

“I came here to help navigate the company through what I saw as a massive transformation opportunity, to transform our company and restore strong profitable growth, as well as help transform the business of our customers. I came to do this with the power of technology, given my experiences with similar transformations, my background in AI, and the structural changes that I saw happening in the IT services industry,” said Sikka in his resignation letter.

READ MORE: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns following investor pressure

Sikka will not be completely out of the picture following his resignation as Infosys CEO, as he will assume the role of executive vice-chairman. He has expressed an interest in supporting the transition process, and of continuing to support his colleagues.

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