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From Vishal Sikka’s resignation to Nandan Nilekani’s appointment: Everything that has happened

On Thursday, The Indian Express reported that founders and former senior officials of the company had managed to persuade co-founder Nandan Nilekani to head India’s second-largest IT company. The official announcement for the appointment was made on Thursday night.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
August 24, 2017 10:24:07 pm
nandan nilekani, nandan nilekani appointed as infosys chairman, vishal sikka, r seshayee, narayana murthy, infosys, indian express news Nandan Nilekani was appointed as the Chairman of Infosys on Thursday. (File photo)

Nandan Nilekani was appointed as the Chairman of Infosys on Thursday, days after Vishal Sikka’s resignation as the copany CEO and MD. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the company. “Nilekani has been appointed as the non-executive, non-independent director and the chairman of the Board of Directors with immediate effect,” an Infosys official declaration to BSE, NSE and other international stock exchanges stated.

Former CEO, MD Vishal Sikka quit the board with R Seshasayee also stepping down from his position as the Chairman of the Board.

Here is everything that has happened since Vishal Sikka tendered his resignation:

Vishal Sikka’s resignation was accepted at a Board meeting on August 18. He was appointed as the executive vice-chairman and was reported to hold the position until the company’s new permanent Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director took charge, according to a statement released by Infosys on August 18. UB Pravin Rao was appointed as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director reporting to Sikka, under the overall supervision and control of the company’s Board.

Sikka took charge as Infosys CEO in 2014, becoming the first chief executive officer who was not from one of its founders.

The Board of Directors blamed the founder N R Narayana Murthy for forcing Sikka’s exit. “Mr. Murthy’s continuous assault is the primary reason that the CEO, Dr. Vishal Sikka, has resigned despite strong Board support’’. In response, Narayana Murthy had said that he was anguished by the allegations. “Anguished by allegations, tone and tenor of statements by Infosys board, below my dignity to respond to baseless insinuations.”

“My concern primarily was the deteriorating standard of corporate governance which I have repeatedly brought to the notice of the Infosys board,” he had said, adding he will reply to ‘these allegations in the right manner and in the right forum and at the appropriate time’.

Infosys shares dropped by close to 14 per cent in two days after Sikka resigned.

The company was faced with a big task of finding a replacement for Sikka, with insiders hinting that someone from within might be considered for the post. “I think there is very little chance there will be an external candidate,” a source inside the company had informed The Indian Express.

With friction continuing between founder NR Narayana Murthy and Board chairman R Seshasayee, sources at the company said that a restructuring might take place in the Board of Directors soon. Amid the feud between the Board and Narayana Murthy, company’s co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan on Tuesday called on finance and corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley. Venkatesan is believed to have briefed Jaitley about the developments at Infosys and assured the minister of no let-up in corporate governance standards at the company, contrary to the allegations labelled by Murthy.

On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that domestic institutions, led by some of the top mutual funds in the country, sought the return of former Infosys managing director and CEO Nandan Nilekani in a “suitable capacity” to restore the confidence of stakeholders in the tech company. According to reports by the newspaper, founders and former senior officials of the company had managed to persuade co-founder Nandan Nilekani to head India’s second-largest IT company.

The official announcement for the appointment was made on Thursday night.

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