Does the explosive resignation of Vishal Sikka as CEO of Infosys indicate that family-run businesses find it difficult to hand over the reins to outsiders? Sikka's resignation letter cited personal attacks "amplified" by people within the company and Murthy has expressed his unhappiness over the pay hike for certain executives . Sikka, whose vision included significations in automation and artificial intelligence, a departure, perhaps from Murthy’s service-oriented approach, was regarded as far-sighted and in keeping with the AI-driven future of technology. Aksheev Thakur talks to four techies about the ramifications of not keeping up with the times and why it’s important to relinquish control.
The ouster of Cyrus Mistry as chairman of the Tata group in November last created ripples in the industry and now Vishal Sikka’s resignation as the Chief Executive Officer of Infosys has added to the impression that family-run businesses find it hard to hand over the reins to outsiders. A city of techies, Bengaluru’s reaction has been mixed to the power struggles within one of its I-T majors.
Coming to the defence of Infosys founder, Narayana Murthy and rejecting all claims that he is trying to control the company’s affairs as much as in the past when he played a more active role, Mukesh Kumar, a techie with a private firm, says he may really have misgivings about the exorbitant increments given to executives.
“It is difficult as of now to say anything as it would be based on assumptions. The sheer hard work put in by Vishal Sikka is well known and I agree with his statement that the company will reap the benefit of the work done by him in three years for the coming 30 years, but its stocks will definitely fall. With Sikka at the helm, Infosys shares jumped and the company’s market too surged from $4.6 billion on August 1, 2014, to $31.78 billion over three years.”
“The morale of the employees is also affected when such incidents take place,” he continues. Shaking his head in disagreement, another tech expert, Hemant Kumar, interrupts to say, “Employees do not care. Had I been working for Infosys I would not be worried about what happens at the executive level. I am only concerned about the security of my job. Moreover, employees will not be aware of the intricate details about Sikka’s resignation and I can say this with full authority.”
He goes on, “Look, the shares will be affected till the new CEO takes over. Running a huge company like Infosys is not a cakewalk.”
Another city techie, Vikrant, who graduated with a B.Tech degree in 2012 and joined a private IT firm the same year, points out that the placements at different engineering colleges could be badly hit after the unfortunate developments at the company.
“If there is no stability in the company no experienced techie or business graduate would like to join it. Fresh graduates from engineering colleges may not find a place in the organisation like in the Tata group after Mistry’s exit. TCS did not hire for a long time,” he elaborates. Nodding in agreement, his colleague, Chiranjeevi, says recruitment of tech graduates will take a hit. “It will add to the grim job market globally,” he adds gloomily.
On the charges of impropriety in the 2015 acquisitions of Panaya and Skava systems made by Mr Murthy, Mr Mukesh recalls that the investigation found nothing wrong.
“Infosys hired three external law and investigation firms to carry out an impartial probe and nothing malicious was found against it,” he notes only to have Mr Vikrant interrupt with “Infosys should have made the reports public as demanded by Mr Murthy. Going by news reports it appeared that the issue was settled but Mr Murthy’s email to the board in July showed all was not well.”
“Investors will be wary of the situation in the short term but the issue will be resolved soon,” the techies sum up....