Vishal Sikka Resigns as Infosys CEO -- Update

By Eric Bellman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Vishal Sikka resigned Friday as chief executive of Infosys Ltd., citing a resistance to change at the company that deteriorated into anonymous mudslinging at India's second-largest software and outsourcing company.

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Mr. Sikka will stay on as executive vice chairman of the Bangalore-based company. Pravin Rao, a 30-year Infosys veteran, will become interim CEO and managing director while the company searches for a replacement.

Mr. Sikka was appointed in 2014 and was the first outsider ever to head the company. He was hired to transform the outsourcing giant from a company that competed on cost to a global technology brand powered by innovation.

He was scouted from German software company SAP SE to upgrade Infosys--a trailblazer of the outsourcing model and one of India's largest and most profitable companies.

It has struggled to adjust to the latest technology trends--such as the cloud, automation and artificial intelligence--and has faced political headwinds as movements in the U.S. the U.K. have questioned the value of outsourcing.

The company was hoping that Mr. Sikka, known for leading and accelerating the launch of sophisticated software platforms at SAP, could make Infosys an industry trendsetter again.

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Instead, it seems he faced unrelenting resistance that deteriorated into anonymous letters making claims against Mr. Sikka and others.

"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," he said in his resignation email to the board, which was released by the company.

The company didn't outline what the issues were. It is scheduled to have a news conference Friday afternoon. Infosys shares plunged 7% in early trading.

Debiprasad Nayak contributed to this article.

Write to Eric Bellman at eric.bellman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 18, 2017 02:25 ET (06:25 GMT)