- Vishal Sikka said he shared a 'warm relationship' with Narayana Murthy
- He has been under fire from Mr Murthy for setting up office in Palo Alto
- Mr Sikka resigned as MD and CEO of Infosys; Pravin Rao to be interim CEO
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In a blog that he shared on Twitter, Mr Sikka wrote "It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years, and the powerful seeds of innovation that we have sown, I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks."
Vishal Sikka will focus on strategic matters and receive an annual salary of $1. Shares of Infosys fell as much as 7.6 percent after his announcement.
Infosys has been battered by allegations of poor corporate governance by Narayana Murthy and fellow founders, including criticism of acquisitions and executive pay.
Vishal Sikka has been an unusual Infosys CEO - he is not one of the founders and is also based in Palo Alto in the US. Mr Murthy's criticism of him has extended to him chartering private planes to meet clients. He took the top job at Infosys in 2014; later that year, Mr Murthy voluntarily gave up his board position.
In a statement, the Infosys board, which has supported Mr Sikka against the software giant's founders, said it "regrets his decision." It added, "The board denounces 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."
India's second-biggest IT services company behind Tata Consultancy Services has been locked in a public war of words with the founders and former executives. The founders, who still own 12.75 percent of the firm, earlier this year questioned a pay rise granted to Mr Sikka and the size of severance payouts given to others.
In February, at in investor conference in Mumbai, Vishal Sikka called Narayana Murthy an "incredible man" and said that he had a "wonderful" relationship with the founders. He dubbed issues raised in the media around corporate governance lapses at the firm as "distracting".
Mr Sikka's exit marks a blow to the company as it struggles with challenges at a time when the more than $150 billion Indian IT services industry has seen a slowdown in new deals with Western clients, and is bracing for changes in US work visa rules in its biggest market, the United States, that could increase costs significantly and dent profits.
Infosys has been trying to haul itself out of a growth slowdown and has just been able to keep pace with industry growth numbers recently.