Vishal Sikka named Infy CEO

Vishal Sikka named Infy CEO

Infosys appointed former top executive of SAP Vishal Sikka as its CEO on Thursday, ending months of speculation and suspense in the industry and media. Pravin Rao will take over as the COO.

Sikka will assume responsibility on August 1. The appointment also comes after a string of key senior level exits in the last one year.

Infosys executive chairman and co-founder N R Narayana Murthy, whose return to the company’s stewardship on June 1 last year brought positive financial results for the company in the past four quarters, will now leave the role and return to his chairman emeritus status with effect from October 11, 2014.

Addressing reporters at the Infosys headquarters in Bangalore on Thursday, Sikka, who will also be the managing director of the Bangalore-based technology bellwether, said: “I am honoured to lead Infosys, an iconic company built by pioneers in the technology industry. I look forward to working with and learning from talented Infoscions around the world. Computing technology is reshaping every industry.

We, at Infosys, have a unique opportunity to deliver breakthrough solutions that will bring greater value to our clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. I am grateful to the Infosys Nominations and Governance Committee, Mr Kamath, Mr Murthy and the Board for this opportunity.”

Infosys, a leader of India’s $100 billion-plus outsourcing industry, was under pressure to bring in a new chief soon to reassure investors after a slew of departures at the top.

The company said that Narayana Murthy and executive vice-chairman S Gopalakrishnan will step down on June 14. In order to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities, they will continue on the board till October 10.
Thanking the company’s clients, members of the board and his colleagues at Infosys for their support and encouragement, Murthy said, “Vishal (Sikka) brings valuable experience as a leader of a large, global corporation. His illustrious track record and value system make him an ideal choice to lead Infosys. On behalf of all of us at Infosys, I would like to thank Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal and (Srinath) Batni for their contributions.”

Forty seven-year-old Sikka, a computer engineer from MS University, Vadodara, has a PhD in computer science from Stanford University. He will occupy the corner office at Infosys on August 1, after incumbent S D Shibulal retires on July 31.

His brief will be to build on the gains which Murthy delivered on the cost optimisation and sales fronts which led to the company’s major deal wins increasing 55 per cent by contract value and margins rising over 200 basis points in the last four quarters. 

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