New Delhi, August 18: The Infosys Board of Directors on Friday backed Vishal Sikka, who resigned as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, and came down heavily on co-founder Narayana Murthy blaming him for former’s resignation. Showering praises on Sikka for his hardwork, Infosys Co-Chairman R Venkatesan said the Board is committed to the strategic direction set by Sikka. “No doubt that Vishal Sikka is a phenomenal guy, the world knows it. He has blossomed as a leader,” Venkatesan said. Also Read - Infosys Records 16.6% Growth in Q3 Net Profit at Rs 5197 Crore, CEO Calls It ‘Excellent Result’

Venkatesan added that there is no change in Infosys’s strategic direction and the focus is on stability and continuity. He made it clear that succession planning is the top priority for Board. He said that it is crucial that the next CEO buys into the vision, culture and is people-oriented. The next CEO can be an Infosys member or an outsider, say reports. Also Read - Narayan Murthy's Daughter Richer Than Queen, Husband Rishi Sunak Faces Flak For Hiding Wealth

The firm has appointed Sikka as Executive Vice Chairman. Infosys Chief Operating Officer UB Pravin Rao has been appointed as the interim CEO and MD of the firm. Also Read - Rolls-Royce, Infosys Ink Partnership For Aerospace Engineering in India

Citing reason behind his resignation, Sikka said that it was difficult for him to deal with continuous allegations and continuous noise around the same thing. “In many ways it is a sad day, but in many ways it might help things. What was difficult to deal with was continuous allegations & continuous noise around the same thing. At a point you realize it’s taking a heavy toll on the organisation &personally so I felt it’s an untenable situation,” Sikka said.

Sikka has recently completely three years as CEO and MD of Infosys. “Proud of the challenges we have achieved. I felt that this change would be in the company’s interest,” he said during a press conference addressing through a video call.

Meanwhile, Murthy hit out at the Board and said it is below his dignity to respond to baseless insinuations. “Anguished by allegations, tone and tenor of statements by Infosys board, below my dignity to respond to baseless insinuations. Some shareholders say it’s hard to believe report by a set of lawyers hired by accused, giving clean chit to the accused. Will reply to allegations in right manner, right forum and at an appropriate time,” Murthy said.

Sikka, 50, a former German IT major SAP executive who was appointed CEO and MD of $10 billion revenue company three years back, will become executive vice-chairman until a new MD and CEO is hired.

While the permanent replacement is to be hired no later than March 31, 2018, Sikka will focus on strategic matters and draw an annual salary of $1 million.

Once a poster boy of Indian IT success story, Infosys has been battered by intense acrimony, with founders accusing the board of poor corporate governance on issues like executive pay and acquisitions.

With inputs from PTI