In a concall with the Board of Infosys, Vishal Sikka vented out his emotions and says that he found the continuous drumbeat of allegations ‘absolutely sickening’, to the point wherein it made it difficult to focus on the job. In the concall, the ex-CEO and MD of India’s second largest information technology services company Infosys Ltd said that he ended up spending way too much time to tackle the surface damage from news stories. Vishal Sikka said that many of the stories in the media are completely ‘baseless’ and ‘nonsensical’. He mentioned about the news surrounding acquisition of Panaya and the resignation of Rajiv Bansal and said that these stories were creating chaos on the ground, and it slows down the agility of the organisation to move towards innovation.
According to him, these allegations created a very negative environment on the job. Vishal Sikka pointed out that the claims of the founders was doing a disservice to the company, and hindering its progress. He said that the attacks were becoming increasingly malicious and personal, and there were no indications that they would stop.
Earlier, NR Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys had raised issues pertaining to the quantum of salary hike given to the CEO Vishal Sikka and the size of the severance packages given to former CFO Rajiv Bansal and former General Counsel David Kennedy. Infosys had reportedly paid Rs 23.02 crore severance pay, salary and other benefits to Rajiv Bansal in 2015, which at the time drew flak from advisory firms and analysts for an unusually high compensation given to a parting executive.
In the opening remarks, the board thanked Vishal Sikka and said that it accepts the resignation with a deep sense of regret and sadness. The resignation will cause substantial damage to the morale of the company, said the board. The board assured of a smooth transition and the company will look for talent internally and externally to fill in the vacant position. Dr Sikka will remain with Infosys as executive vice-chairman will hold office until the new permanent chief executive officer and managing director takes charge, which should be no later than March 31, 2018 said the board.
Earlier, Murthy had questioned the ability of the board, led by Seshasayee, on certain decisions taken by the company in the last one year, feeling that the board should have been more proactive in questioning the decisions at their end. On its part, Infosys board has denied any lapses in governance and has explicitly supported Sikka. “The Board is fully aligned with the strategic direction of Dr Vishal Sikka and is very appreciative of the initiatives taken by him in pursuance of this transformation,” R Seshasayee, the Chairman of the board, had said in a company statement.