Why Did Infosys CEO Suddenly Resign?

Infosys, a multinational IT services and consulting business based in India, is currently without a permanent CEO and managing director after the abrupt resignation of Vishal Sikka.

The first non-founder to lead the 36-year-old company, Sikka said today in his letter to the board of directors that his decision followed months of "false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks" that have hurt Infosys' ability to focus on growth and innovation. He also cited recent business challenges created by geopolitical developments, including U.S. leadership by President Donald Trump and last year's Brexit vote in the U.K.

In a statement issued today, the company's board of directors said it had accepted Sikka's resignation and appointed U.B. Pravin Rao, the chief operating officer, as interim CEO and managing director. The board said it planned to appoint a permanent replacement for Sikka "no later than March 21, 2018."

Drumbeat of Distractions 'Undermining Good Work'

"We have achieved much in the last 3+ years, and for sure we can all be proud of the powerful seeds of transformation that have already been sowed," Sikka said in his resignation letter. "But, the distractions that we have seen, the constant drumbeat of the same issues over and over again, while ignoring and undermining the good work that has been done, take the excitement and passion out of this amazing journey."

In addition to the external distractions Sikka named in his letter, the company has also been roiled internally, most recently by anonymous allegations sent to U.S. and Indian regulators in February. Also sent to The Economic Times of India and other news outlets, a Feb. 19 anonymous letter to India's Securities Exchange Board and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that the company's $200 million 2015 acquisition of the automation technology firm Panaya was overvalued and manipulated...

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