India's second-largest IT services exporter Infosys on Thursday named Vishal Sikka as the CEO and Managing Director of the company succeeding S D Shibulal. Sikka will take over from 1st August, the company said in a statement Thursday morning.
This is the first time in its 33 year history that a non-founder will be heading Infosys.
Prior to Infosys, Sikka was a member of the executive board at SAP AG, leading all products and driving innovation globally. At the German software company, he was responsible for all products, including traditional and cloud-based applications to technology and platform products like analytics and mobile.
Sikka, a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University, led multiple initiatives to accelerate innovation and research at SAP.
Executive Chairman, NR Narayana Murthy, said, “Vishal 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."
The announced also marked the exit of Murthy from the company, and on his way out he will be joined by rest of the founders who still hold seats in Infosys. Murthy and S. Gopalakrishnan will step down as Executive Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman, respectively, on June 14, 2014.
The Executive Chairman’s office will be dissolved and Murthy’s son Rohan Murty, whose appointment was co-terminus with the Executive Chairman, will also leave the company. The remaining members of the Chairman’s office will take up other responsibilities in the company.
Murthy will be designated as Chairman Emeritus with effect from October 11, 2014. Another co-founder Shibulal will step down as CEO & MD and from the board on July 31, 2014.
Among other exits, Srinath Batni, whole-time director of the company, will step down from the Board, the company said.
"In order to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities, they (Murthy and Gopalakrishnan) will continue on the board till October 10, 2014 as the Non-executive Chairman and Non-executive Vice Chairman, respectively," the Bangalore-based IT firm said, adding that K. V. Kamath will become the Non-executive Chairman of the board on October 11, 2014.
Sikka will be inducted as a whole-time director of the board and CEO & MD (designate) on June 14, 2014, Infosys said. The company added that the Board has elevated U.B. Pravin Rao, President and whole-time director, as Chief Operating Officer, with effect from June 14.
"Computing technology is reshaping every industry across every walk of life. We, at Infosys, have a unique opportunity to deliver breakthrough t solutions that will bring greater value to our clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders," Sikka said in a statement.
“The Committee adopted a rigorous selection process with the assistance of reputed global executive search and evaluation firms. Vishal brings a unique combination of technology prowess and business acumen," said K. V. Kamath, Lead Independent Director and Chairman of the Nominations & Governance Committee.
IT major Infosys has also elevated twelve leaders to the position of executive vice president with additional responsibilities. However, the company didn't name the executives in its statement.
The news was welcomed by the street and Infosys stock rallied by 3.7 per cent at the BSE Sensex, before paring its gains. At 11.20 am, it was trading at Rs 3,175 per share, down 0.12 per cent.