New Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka: What he brings to the table and tasks ahead

Pankaj Maru Posted online: Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 0000 hrs
Infosys has announced the appointment of Vishal Sikka as company's new CEO and MD. It's for the first time, Infosys has brought in an outsider and a non-founder to lead the company.

Sikka's appointment has elicited a number of comments and significantly, they are positive. Here are some:

According to Tom Reuner, Principal Analyst, Ovum, “This is a watershed moment for the company. Vishal Sikka will be the first CEO, who is neither part of the founding generation nor an insider from Infosys.”

According to Partha Iyengar, Country Manager - Research, Gartner India, "The new CEO will have to move very quickly to first calm the three key stakeholders — employees, customers and the investors. Infosys cannot afford any more resource departures especially at senior levels,” Iyengar pointed to challenges faced by Sikka.

“He will next have to establish credibility with those stake-holders, again, in a fairly short period and then energise them in the medium to long term,” added Iyengar.

“Sikka will also have to become a visible standard bearer for the Infosys brand, something that the Indian IT Services still need at the level of maturity they are at,” said Iyengar.

According to Jaideep Mehta, Vice President and General Manager, IDC South Asia, “Infosys needed a heavyweight external CEO and he brings the necessary gravitas to the role,” said Mehta.

“He is well versed technically and keenly aware of international technology markets. Further, the C-level network he brings to the table will also be crucial for Infosys to leverage in order to grow faster,” pointed out Mehta.

Mehta further explained that Sikka's extensive experience in SAP and specifically in HANA will direct Infosys to move ahead..

Tom Reuner, Principal Analyst, Ovum expressed same views about Sikka's experience and skills with regard to SAP.

“Vishal Sikka was highly regarding within SAP and his remit was to foster innovation. This mindset could be conducive to lead Infosys back to its past glory. Even though this will be his first appointment as CEO, Sikka combines the cultural affinity to the Indian corporate culture with vast experience in the global marketplace,” said Reuner.

“In the end much of his success will depend on how he will work with Murthy, w ho despite the intention to step down will remain a dominating figure,” said Reuner.