Real story of the frictions between Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, founders

The Infosys tussle could not have come at a worse time. In the middle of a technology transformation where many low-end jobs are being automated and the external scenario grim with US President Donald Trump getting tight on work visas and preference for American Jobs. Industry analysts are pensive after news first detailed in the TOI about frictions between the founders of the company and its top management echelons.

Trouble has been brewing for some time with two cultures at odds with one another. On the one hand were prudent salaries, low-key lifestyles against globally competitive severance and push for growth vs. aggressive takeovers.

The bone of contention between the promoters and the board of Infosys was the high salary of CEO Vishal Sikka as well as the massive severance package doled out to top executives recently. Things have not been smooth with the ascension of Sikka who is the first non founder CEO of Infosys who commanded a pay package of Rs 49 crores which is the highest as compared to its compatriots like TCS and Wipro. Once again a debate has started about corporate governance and transparency.

Sikka is targeting to make Infosys a $20 billion company with an operating margin of 30% and a revenue output of $80,000 per employee by 2020.This is a huge jump considering the fact that its current revenue is just half the projected target.

Meanwhile, there are reports of a Singapore-based fund manager as well as high-ranking people trying to broker peace between the company’s founders and the management which is trying to chart a divergent but new path.

The talks have been arranged by Baburaj Pillai, founder Arohi Capital who met both Co-Founder Narayana Murthy and CEO to solve internal governance issues. In a statement, Infosys said that all decisions are made bona fide and in the overall interest of the company. Both co-founders, Murthy and Nilekani, as well as Kris Gopalakrishnan, declined to comment.

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