“Sikka’s sudden resignation is unfortunate but not unexpected. Though the co-founders have not questioned his performance in driving growth, his exorbitant salary and expenses incurred on him by the firm did not go well the promoters, especially NR Narayana Murthy,” Professor Aditya Jadhav of TA Pai Management Institute said here. Admitting there was a cultural clash between the promoters and Sikka as the company’s first non-founder executive over the style of his functioning, Jadhav said as the former had a large ownership and earned huge dividends, it allowed them to draw lesser salary whereas higher pay package for Sikka was justifiable in the absence of same dividends for him.
“Institutional investors who collectively own 68 pc of the company’s stock have shown solidarity with Sikka. But the founders, who jointly hold 13 pc of the stock, have been critical of Sikka’s flamboyant style of functioning as their successor Chief Executive,” noted Jadhav. He also regretted that the founders used their clout and stand in the IT industry to question the ethics of Sikka, which forced him to call it quits.
Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM) Secretary Sanjay Padode, said Sikka was a cultural misfit for Infosys, a bootstrapped firm built by the promoters’ conviction in high standards of corporate governance, frugal innovation and quality delivery. “Sikka’s experience was in the area of technological innovation and driving business through strategic interventions. His exit was inevitable going by the adage of Peter Drucker - culture eats strategy for breakfast,” asserted Padode.
HDFC Securities Head VK Sharma said though the software major did better than the industry during Sikka’s three-year embattled tenure, his ambitious $20-billion revenue target by 2020 was far-fetched, as it took over three decades for the company to cross $10 billion in fiscal 2016-17.