The chief executive of Indian IT giant Infosys has resigned citing "malicious and increasingly personal attacks" over his style of leadership.

Vishal Sikka said in his resignation letter that it had become difficult for him to continue to lead the company amid the "continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity".

Infosys founders, who still hold around 12% of the company's stock, have publicly criticised the software firm's leadership and accused them of lapses in corporate governance.

Infosys said in a statement that Sikka would be appointed to a newly-created post of executive vice chairman effective immediately, with chief operating officer Pravin Rao taking over as interim CEO.

Shares in the IT services firm slipped more than 7% on the news in Mumbai.

Sikka took over as chief executive and managing director of Infosys in August 2014 and was tasked with turning around a company that was lagging behind the competition.

"In his notice of resignation to the board, Dr 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 Infosys statement read.

"The board understands and acknowledges Dr Sikka's reasons for resignation, and regrets his decision."

The resignation comes amid a public spat between the Infosys board and co-founder Narayana Murthy, who criticised salary hikes given to Sikka and Rao.

Murthy was also critical of Sikka for flying private charters to meet with clients and raised questions over Infosys's $200m (£155m) buyout of software firm Panaya.

"Over the last many months and quarters, we have all been besieged by false, baseless, malicious and increasingly personal attacks," Sikka said in his letter to the board.

"Allegations that have been repeatedly proven false and baseless by multiple, independent investigations. But despite this, the attacks continue, and worse still, amplified by the very people from whom we all expected the most steadfast support in this great transformation.

"This continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity over the last several months/quarters, inhibits our ability to make positive change and stay focused on value creation," Sikka added.