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Infosys names Vishal Sikka as new CEO; Narayana Murthy to step down

Bangalore, June 12 (ANI): Information technology services major Infosys appointed SAP AG executive board member Vishal Sikka as the chief executive officer and managing director (CEO and MD) of the company on Thursday.

Sikka’s appointment is the first time that Infosys, India’s second-largest IT services exporter, has not chosen one of its founding members to take on the responsibility.

Infosys also announced that its Executive Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy and Executive Vice Chairman S. Gopalakrishnan will voluntarily step down on Saturday to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities.

They will, however, continue to be members of the Infosys board till October 10, 2014, as non-executive chairman and non-executive vice-chairman, respectively.

From October 11, Murthy will be redesignated as Chairman Emeritus, the company said in a stock market filing on Thursday.

The executive chairman’s office will be dissolved on Saturday.

Narayana Murthy’s son, Rohan Murthy, whose appointment was co-terminus with the executive chairman, will also leave the company on Saturday.

Sikka will be inducted as a full-time director of the board, and CEO and MD (designate) on the same day.

On August 1, he will take over from S.D. Shibulal, one of the seven engineers who founded Infosys in 1981.

Sikka was, until recently, a member of the executive board of SAP AG, leading all products and driving innovation globally.

He has worked closely with leaders of global companies in building breakthrough business solutions.

At SAP, he was responsible for all products, from traditional and cloud-based applications to technology and platform products including HANA, analytics, mobile and middleware.

In addition, Sikka led multiple initiatives to accelerate innovation and research at SAP. He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford University, USA.

Soon after his appointment was formally announced, Sikka said, “I am honoured to lead Infosys, an iconic company built by pioneers in the technology industry. I look forward to working with and learning from talented Infoscions around the world.”

Infosys was under pressure to bring in a new chief executive soon to check an exodus of junior staff and reassure investors after a slew of departures at the top. At least 11 senior executives have left the company since June last year when N.R. Narayana Murthy was brought back from retirement to try to regain some of the market share lost to rivals including Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. (ANI with inputs)