Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Infosys declares New CEO after Sikka's exit

Infosys declares New CEO after Sikka's exit

Salil S Parekh, a soft-spoken IT industry veteran, was appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of India's second-largest software company, Infosys, for a period of five years effective from January 2, 2018.

Mr Parekh joins Infosys from Capgemini where he was a member of the group executive board. Parekh being a more understated executive is reflected by the fact that there is not much publicly available about the 53-year old executive, who is an Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduate and a Cornell University alumnus.

Parekh will replace UB Pravin Rao, who took over as interim chief executive after Vishal Sikka's abrupt exit amid a row with one of the company's promoters, N. Nararayana Murthy, in August.

Sikka, the first non co-founder CEO of Infosys, laid out an aggressive turnaround plan for the IT major, but had to quit over squabbles with founder NR Narayana Murthy over issues of corporate governance.

Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Infosys Board, said that Parekh "has a strong track record" and "he is the right person to lead Infosys". "The Board believes that he is the right person to lead the company at this transformative time in our industry". He said:"I am happy that Infosys has appointed Salil Parekh as the CEO. He has a very strong reputation within Capgemini's financial services business and can help grow Infosys' consulting approach, which is key to the firm's growth", he said. Sikka, who was brought in from SAP in 2014, was the first non-founder CEO at the over Dollars 10 billion company. Over the next few days, the then Chairman R Seshasayee and two others also relinquished their positions. The founders citing whistleblower reports had raised concerns about the buyout.

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This time round co-founder Nandan M. Nilekani was recalled, a week after Sikka's resignation, to run the company as non-executive chairman and find a new CEO.

Interestingly, the new Board, under Nilekani, has given a clean chit to the United States dollars 200 million Panaya deal saying there was no merit in the allegations of wrongdoing related to the deal.

The former Capgemini executive was in the race for the top job at Infosys the last time around as well, when the Indian IT major decided in favour of Vishal Sikka.

According to industry watchers, Parekh will face multiple challenges in the new role.

Parekh has also been a partner with Ernst & Young.

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