Mumbai: Infosys shares closed at Rs923.10 on BSE, down 9.6%, its steepest fall since 12 April 2013, from its previous close. In intraday, the stock fell as much as 13.4% and touched near three year low of Rs884.40 a level last seen on 21 August 2014.
Investors lost Rs22,519.50 crore in market capitalisation.
Infosys chairman R Seshasayee said on Friday that there is no change in the company’s share buyback plan. “We have made commitment on how much and when to return cash to shareholders," said Seshasayee.
“Key change in top management has caused uncertainty in the investors’ minds since the latest development could impact the operational, and in turn financial, performance of bellwether in the near term," said an analyst with a domestic brokerage.
However, in light of proposed buyback to be considered by the company on Saturday, Choice Broking head of Fundamental research had a different view.
“Uncertainty relating to restructuring in Infosys’s top hierarchy has been doing the rounds in market for some time but the resignation has finally put an end to all this. Hence, it is an opportunity for retail investors to buy the Infosys stock since the proposal of buy-back will be discussed by the board in a meeting on Saturday and it seems quite certain. However, HNIs (high net worth individuals) must wait for their turn to invest," said Sundar Sanmukhani, head – fundamental research at Choice Broking.
Sikka joined Infosys on 1 August 2014 and since then to till date, the stock surged over 22% outstripping its rivals Tata Consultancies Ltd (down 1.44%), Wipro Ltd (up 7.8%) and HCL Technologies Ltd (up 14.51%. In this period, Sensex gained nearly 24.8%.
The Board of Directors accepted the resignation and appointed U B Pravin Rao as the interim managing director and Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect, the release said.
Earlier Mint reported that Infosys Ltd founder N.R. Narayana Murthy claimed in an email to some of his advisers that he had been told by at least three independent directors of the company that Vishal Sikka was more chief technology officer (CTO) material than chief executive officer (CEO) material.
“All that I hear from at least three independent directors, including Mr Ravi Venkatesan (co-chairman), are complaints about Dr Sikka. They have told me umpteen times that Dr Sikka is not a CEO material but CTO material. This is the view of at least three members of the board, and not my view since I have not seen him operate from the vantage point of an Infosys board member," Murthy said in the email.
Murthy has publicly lambasted Infosys over the course of the past six-seven months for lapses in corporate governance (allegations the company has denied repeatedly). In the latest email, he went on to criticize the board for failing to uphold the company’s famed governance standards and not creating “checks and balances required in any well-run company".