Vishal Sikka’s exit saddens Infosys’ young staff; a section sees silver lining

A section of employees are, however, not very downcast about the change of guard and are of the view that there is substance to rumours of wrong doing that has been swirling around since the end of the first year of Vishal Sikka’s tenure

Written by Johnson TA | Bengaluru | Updated: August 20, 2017 8:41 am
Vishal sikka, Infosys, Vishal sikka resigns, Vishal Sikka resignation, Infosys CEO, Infosys crisis, Infosys news, Narayana Murthy, Business News, Latest Business News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Infosys Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vishal Sikka (AP Photo)

Despite being at the helm of affairs at Infosys Ltd for only three years, outgoing CEO Vishal Sikka has managed to endear himself to the majority of employees, especially the young employees, with his measures and new ideas that made the average employee felt valued and empowered. With Sikka announcing his exit as CEO and MD of the company on Friday, the overwhelming sense is one of sadness and uncertainty among young employees, especially for those who bought into Sikka’s dreamy, futuristic strategic vision for the company.However, for a section of employees, who do some of the heavy-lifting at the company, the exit of the CEO amid a cloud of controversy over acquisitions and pay hikes is probably welcome, as Sikka’s strategies were set to take the company away from its traditional ways.

“I thought with Sikka in charge, we were in good hands. There was a sense of purpose and direction to the work we were doing and employees who had grown lethargic and shackled by rules that stipulated a formal dress code and fixed work hours were enjoying working in Infosys. We are hoping that these things do not change with Sikka gone,” said a non-technical employee who has been at Infosys for over 10 years.“There is a sense of uncertainty among the employees. They do not know what is going to happen now. There was a specific transformation path that was taken under Sikka and this will definitely change under a new leader,” a senior software engineer at the company said.

Sikka, who brought a slice of Silicon Valley culture to Infosys campuses with his deep knowledge of technology and science, an informal personal style where he wore t-shirts to work or walked barefoot on the lawns of the Infosys campus obliging requests for selfies, enjoyed the status of a “rock star” among the younger lot of the two lakh-strong employees.“With his connections in Silicon Valley and higher education in the US, we felt Sikka was successful in positioning Infosys as an emerging technology company and not just a services company. This would have been good for the company in the long run and whether this can be achieved by anyone else is very doubtful,” the senior software engineer said.

“Every part of the company, every campus and every client would speak about the new thinking you brought to Infosys. Your lectures on AI and innovative thought leadership would always be with us. We are going to miss a great person at heart, great CEO with passion for machines, robots, cognitive thinking,” an Infosys employee said in response to Sikka’s communication on his blog about his exit. “Sometimes I felt you are a misfit for this company as your ideas and plans are way too high/good to be implemented in Infosys with this set of people,” said another employee on Sikka’s blog.

A section of employees are, however, not very downcast about the change of guard and are of the view that there is substance to rumours of wrong doing that has been swirling around since the end of the first year of Vishal Sikka’s tenure. “After Sikka took over, employees received good hikes following appraisals but in the last year, there have been no hikes and this has been demoralising especially after learning that some of the top management including Sikka received huge 55 per cent hikes,” a software engineer said. “The camps are divided — old thinking versus new thought leadership. Looks like this time old thinking has won,” an Infosys employee said about the exit of Sikka. “I sensed dope when I saw that Infosys was paying $200 million for the Panaya acquisition. Sikka will not be missed,” an Infosys employee said.

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  1. R
    Aug 24, 2017 at 8:47 am
    There are always two sides of a coin. Natural reactions depending upon how you perceive.
    1. W
      Aug 21, 2017 at 11:27 pm
      Battle no 1, Political . Board, sikka move co per GOI-BJP projects. Murthy is old congressman, was congress appointed cacdidate, v close to siddu. Sikka was weak, ran away from battle. This battle won by Murthy. Battle no 2, money. Sikka did great, brought in usd 6100 million cash into company. Murthy wants that money, Sikka guardian, was in the way. This battle 1st part won by Sikka. Battle no 3, ethnic. Sikka lost. Murthy won. Battle no 4, technology. Sikka moving co to new tech AI etc. Murthy wants retain old low-cost model, wont work as, Trump will stop Murthy, but Truml neutral to Sikka. This battle to Sikka. Battle no 5. Age against old granny murthy, he requires sleep 10-13hours a day. Brain old, rusty, cant work think fast like a 25-45yr man. This battle to Sikka. Battle no 6, Dharma, Morals. Murthy allegations, false, scamms, zero credibility, zero evidence, just congress paid news. Sikka had quit by himself. This goes to Sikka.
      1. A
        Aug 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm
        Mr. NRN and co-founder board members are responsible for the downfall of Infosys. In the tenure of Sikka, infosys was running in profits. This is irony of Indian management. Since none of the co-founder couldn't become CEO, as Mr. Sikka non co-founder being CEO, this is exact the point, ego of board members including NRN got hurt and therefore this is was is infosys fiasco all about. Got save such egoistic top managements.
        1. Raj Oberoi
          Aug 20, 2017 at 5:40 pm
          Done seem to see people being saddned. They are fairly neutral about it. Just curious at best.
          1. H
            Aug 20, 2017 at 6:36 am
            What business Sikka had to inflate his ry bill by 55 while not doing much for the employees? Why there is so much greed? This is precisely the reason why young employees feel sad for his, because they believe in windfalls than a steady progress based on company's progress. Promoters created long term values which people have to take forward.
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