Vicious civil war at Infosys claims its CEO

Indian tech giant Infosys has lost its CEO amid open conflict between its board and its founders.

A company statement issued by Infosys said it had accepted the resignation of CEO Vishal Sikka, effective immediately. The statement notes that among his reason for leaving were “a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions over the recent months and quarters, increasingly personal and negative as of late.”

The board published Sikka’s resignation letter and there immediately followed a succession of further public statements, including a follow-up from the Infosys board pinning the blame for his departure on Infosys founder Narayana Murthy. He seems to have been the source of the alleged stream of disruptions, culminating in a recent letter to the media.

At its root seems to be a fundamental disagreement about the direction of the company and how it’s run. Sikka was apparently a big fan of AI, even citing the recent AI Dota 2 victory in the first paragraph of his resignation letter. There also seems to have been a major disagreement over executive compensation.

This saga looks set to run for some time. The Murthy family still are still significant minority shareholders in Infosys and so will feel justified in questioning how it’s run. On the other hand pressurising the CEO to such an extent that he gives up may not be the most cunning way to go about it. Infosys shares were down 10% on the news at time of writing.

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