Mumbai: The Infosys board on Friday came out in full support of the outgoing leader Vishal Sikka and said that he is not only a "phenomenal technical guy", but also "a high-performing CEO".
Addressing the media, Ravi Venkatesan, the Independent Director and Co-Chairman of Infosys was referring to comments by founder Narayana Murthy that Sikka was "CTO" material and not CEO material.
Venkatesan called Sikka a "thought leader" for the industry and the company. "He has made sure that Infosys was strategically relevant and sowed seeds for transformation of Infosys," he said.
Sikka’s shift to Executive Vice Chairman from CEO will make no difference to his commitment to the company, said Chairman R Seshasayee.
This bitter corporate drama began on Friday morning with Infosys announcing the resignation of top man Vishal Sikka as CEO and MD.
The board's defense in favour of Sikka came in the light of Sikka stating that he was "besieged by false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks". In a statement to the stock exchanges, the company board had also lashed out at founder Narayana Murthy for his continuous assault against Sikka.
The board also thanked Sikka for agreeing to stay on board as the Executive Vice Chairman and "ensuring continuity". He will continue to look after strategic execution of Infosys and client relations.
Calling Infosys an "iconic company", Sikka reminisced that: "I signed up for the cultural transformation, disruption and transformation of the company. At that time Infosys and the IT industry were going through a challenging time". He said he was extremely proud of the phenomenal work of his team to make Infosys a market leader.
Sikka's tenure at the company had come under attack from founders like Narayana Murthy over issues like salary, corporate governance and acquisititions. His last few months as the CEO also coincided with a raging crisis in the IT industry as a whole. In his address on Friday, Sikka said "Last year we saw some headwinds from geopolitical crises, visa situation. But everyone has to deal with it".
Referring to Murthy's allegations, Sikka said it was no longer possible for him to deal with "continuous allegations, continuous noise". He said these disruptions weighed him down and were against the company's interest.
Sikka further said that his resignation will be a fresh start for the company. He said that business will continue as usual and he will be there to help the company in any way he can.
Backing Sikka, Ravi Venkatesan said the board will continue to follow the outgoing chief's "strategic direction". He also said that he has "no interest" in being the next CEO.
The Chairman, R Seshayee ruled out putting the Infosys buyback proposal on the back-burner....