Infosys gets its first non-founder CEO in former SAP executive Vishal Sikka

Jun 12 2014, 10:17 IST
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Vishal Sikka has been chosen to be the first non-founder CEO of $8 billion revenue company. Vishal Sikka has been chosen to be the first non-founder CEO of $8 billion revenue company.
SummaryVishal Sikka has been chosen to be the first non-founder CEO of $8 billion revenue company.

the company, including Narayana Murthy, moving into non-executive roles for the first time in its over three decade existence.

The process of finding the new CEO had seen the exits of a couple of top Infosys executives who were earlier tipped to be in the reckoning for the top post at the former IT bellwether.

`` The Infosys Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Vishal Sikka as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of the company. Dr. Sikka will be inducted as a whole-time director of the Board and CEO & MD (Designate) on June 14, 2014. He will take over as CEO & MD from Mr. S. D. Shibulal on August 1, 2014,’’ Infosys said in an official statement ahead of a formal press conference scheduled for mid-day on Thursday.

`` N R Narayana Murthy and S Gopalakrishnan will voluntarily step down as Executive Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman, respectively, on June 14, 2014. In order to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities, they will continue on the Board till October 10, 2014 as the Non-executive Chairman and Non-executive Vice Chairman, respectively,’’ a company statement said.

Infosys Ltd has been in a churn over the past year since the return from retirement of its main founder Narayana Murthy in June 2013. Murthy who retired in 2011, at the age of 65, from all executive roles had returned as executive chairman in the light of the erosion of Infosys’ position as the number two Indian IT company to players like Cognizant, HCL Technologies.

While the number one Indian IT company TCS continued to demonstrate strong growth, Infosys, who attempted a course correction from its hard-nosed sales and margins driven growth strategy to a more product oriented one after Murthy’s first exit, showed only marginal growth in revenues – even as younger companies like Cognizant, HCL and Tech Mahindra have gained ground on it.

The return from retirement for Murthy in June while steadying Infosys to some extent and returning to a sales driven strategy also cost the company a dozen top level executives who quit the company even as Murthy wrested back the reins with his son Rohan Murty as his executive assistant.

"The Executive Chairman’s office will be dissolved with effect from June 14, 2014. Dr. Rohan Murty, whose appointment was co-terminus with the Executive Chairman, will leave the company on June 14, 2014,’’ Infosys

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