Is Ex-SAP Exec Vishal Sikka Infosys’ New CEO?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 02, 2014

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Vishal Sikka, SAP’s leading senior executive who quit the German software firm in May this year, is likely be chosen as the new CEO of Infosys, reports ET. While industry watchers are still doubtful about the new development, the news site quotes an anonymous source who reported that “It’s almost certain that Sikka will be named Infosys’ next CEO,” and that he has been the choice of KV Kamath and NRN Narayan Murthy for sometime now.

Whether real or rumored, Sikka’s entry as the Infosys head may be a sensible option as experts believe his leadership skills combined with domain knowledge is outstanding.  At SAP, Sikka, was the executive board member for products and innovation, who played a key figure in the company’s technical revamp and also viewed as a potential CEO of the company. Notably, Sikka has led the development of HANA, SAP’s big in-memory database product, which the company has up until now seen as a foundational technology.

From various reports it could be concluded that Sikka was not forced out of SAP as he calmly told Tech Crunch, “It was just time to move on.”

Another Business Insider report suggested two possible reasons for Sikka’s resignation. “One was an internal power struggle between German and US executives. The other was he was hoping for a big promotion that didn’t happen.”

Ray Wang, the founder of Constellation Research told ET that if Infosys chooses Sikka as the successor to SD Shibulal it will be something of a achievement. “Vishal is a technology visionary and a product innovation advocate. Infosys is an execution machine, and designed for massive services scale. Bringing both together would be awesome as services companies productize intellectual property,” he said in the report.

While Infosys had to cope with confusion and some negative publicity following the resignation of BG Srinivas, one of its two presidents and the spate of high level exits in the company, since Murthy’s arrival in June last year, it raised questions about the credibility and stability of the IT major.

Read: Why B G Srinivas’ Exit Is A Worrying Sign For Infosys

Even though the exit of so many seasoned professionals will be one of the challenges for Sikka as he works with Murthy to return Infosys to industry-leading growth, experts believe is Sikka gets the job, it could raise the profile of Infosys among global corporations and lead to greater success of the company.

Sikka’s entry would also create record for Infosys to have appointed its first non-founder CEO from an external source, as many believed. It was often suggested that choosing a CEO from an external source would bring greater benefits to the company. (Read: Infosys CEO May Be An Outsider Too!)

At this point in time it is wise to keep our fingers crossed but do watch out this space, the Infosys CEO appointment, which is turning out to be interesting!