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Vishal Sikka resigns as MD & CEO of Infosys; appointed Executive Vice-Chairman

Sikka will receive an annual salary of USD 1 during his tenure as Executive Vice Chairman and will continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development

Vishal Sikka

Vishal Sikka, Managing Director and CEO, Infosys, has been relieved from his current position and has been appointed as Executive Vice Chairman effective August 18. Sikka will continue hold office until the new permanent Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director takes charge which should be no later than March 31, 2018.

UB Pravin Rao has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director reporting to Sikka under the overall supervision and control of the Company’s Board.

At its board meeting held on August 18, 2017, the Board of Directors of Infosys accepted the notice of resignation of Sikka effective immediately.

In his notice of resignation to the Board, Sikka reiterated his belief in the great potential of Infosys, but cited among his reasons for leaving a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions over the recent months and quarters, increasingly personal and negative as of late, as preventing management's ability to accelerate the Company's transformation.

The Board said that it was profoundly distressed by the unfounded personal attacks on the members of our management team that were made in the anonymous letters and have surfaced in recent months. The board reiterated that a series of careful investigations found no merit to the unsubstantiated and anonymous allegations that had been asserted. The Board denounced the critics who have amplified and sought to further promote demonstrably false allegations which have harmed employee morale and contributed to the loss of the Company’s valued CEO.

Sikka will continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development. He will report to the Company’s Board.

Sikka will receive an annual salary of USD 1 during his tenure as Executive Vice Chairman. Any Company equity awards held by Sikka that remain outstanding and unvested shall, during his term as Executive Vice Chairman, remain outstanding and shall continue to vest (and, in the case of stock options, become exercisable) in accordance with their terms.

When Sikka took over, the Company was lagging behind industry growth. During his tenure as CEO, Infosys revenues have grown from USD 2.13 billion in Q1FY15 to USD 2.65 billion this past Q1, with strong margin performance and cash generation, throughout his tenure. Sikka's approach to profitable growth delivered increase in liquid assets (including cash and cash equivalents) from USD 4.9 billion in June 2014 to  USD 6.1 billion in June 2017, while paying dividends of over Rs 19,000 crore (including dividend distribution tax) over these three years.

"Sikka has made a seminal contribution to the transformation of Infosys, and he will be remembered for infusing a refreshed sense of direction, purpose and energy in the organization. His vision for the future of the industry and the Company will remain a strong reference point as we chart the future course for Infosys in this new era in our rapidly evolving industry. On behalf of our entire board of directors, I wish him well for the future," said R Seshasayee, Chairman of the Board.

Ravi Venkatesan, Co-Chairman of the Board, said, “I want to thank Sikka for his commitment to ensure a smooth transition and his commitment to a seamless experience for our clients. Rao is a veteran Infoscion with deep knowledge of the business, and his long experience in the Company will help ensure a smooth transition.”

Sikka commented, "I started my journey as the CEO of this iconic Company with a mission to transform it on the basis of software, especially [artificial intelligence], and innovation, enabled by education. Three years later, I feel proud of our progress and achievements, from profitable revenue growth to rapid purposeful adoption of software, new services and grassroots innovation, to the extraordinary recognition from our clients worldwide. I am deeply grateful to our Board for providing me with strong support and guidance, and especially wish to thank our Chairman [Seshasayee] for his extraordinary and thoughtful stewardship, and look forward to working together on a smooth transition. Congratulations to my friend and partner Rao on his appointment, and heartfelt thanks to all Infoscions for their warmth, amazing support and the sparks of their imagination."

The Board has mandated the Chairman and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee to expeditiously identify and select a permanent CEO and Managing Director.

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