Its possibly the biggest news India has heard in a while. Vishal Sikka is now going to be the first non-founder Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of India’s second largest Information Technology (IT) outsourcer, Infosys.
The tech giant saw many high level exits when Co-Founder Narayan Murthy was called in from retirement to help the company cope with the competition they faced from rivals like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL Technologies and Wipro.
Now, after months of speculation and numerous theories, Narayan Murthy has chosen 47-year-old Vishal Sikka to head the company that he started in 1981, one that was a leader in India’s IT export business.
It’s obvious that Dr. Sikka has his work cut out for him. And from the looks of it, everyone seems to believe that his entry will definitely bode well for the future of Infosys. So, lets take a closer look at Dr. Sikka. Here is everything you need to know about the new CEO of Infosys.
- Brought up in Vadodara, Gujarat, he completed his schooling from Rosary High School and went on to get a degree in computer engineering from M.S. University Baroda.
- His mother was teacher in the city of Rajkot in Gujarat while his father worked for the Indian Railways in the capacity of an engineer.
- Sikka completed his M.S in Computer Science from Syracuse University and then went on to do his doctorate at Stanford University. The topic for his dissertation was Integrating Specialized Procedures into Proof Systems.
- Sikka started out at Xerox’s research lab and then started iBrain and Bodha.com, both of which were acquired by PatternRX, Inc. and Peregrine Systems respectively.
- He joined SAP in the year 2002 where he was responsible for strategic innovation projects as the head of the advanced technology group. In 2007, he was named the CTO of the company.
- After becoming the CTO, Sikka was wary about SAP’s progress and wanted out. In 2008, when he met with a car accident in Costa Rica while vacationing with his family, he was convinced that he wanted to leave SAP. He even had a discussion with Hasso Plattner, the founder of SAP, about wanting to leave but Plattner challenged Sikka to stay and intellectually renew SAP itself. He gave Sikka the free hand and independence he needed and thus HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) was born.
- On 4 May 2014, Dr. Vishal Sikka, Executive Board Member for Products and Innovation handed in his resignation at SAP, effective immediately. While Sikka cited personal reasons, rumours flew that Plattner’s right-hand man had quit because of an internal power struggle that was brewing in the German company.
- On 12 June 2014, Sikka was named the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys Ltd. He will be taking over from the current CEO and co-founder S.D. Shibulal on the 1st of August.
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