Infosys Welcomes New CEO Salil Parekh From Jan 2
The newly appointed Infosys CEO and MD, Salil Parekh takes charge today as the Indian IT major aims to create a positive work culture, revive growth and boost revenue under his aegis.
Sikka’s sudden exit in August last year created an uproar not only within the organization but had a negative bearing on the entire Indian IT industry and again left Infosys with no choice but desperately look for a new CEO who can bring back Infosys on track. After nearly four months and innumerable speculations, the search ended with the appointment of Salil Satish Parekh as the managing director and CEO of Infosys, a top executive at global IT services giant Capgemini prior to this assignment.
According to industry watchers, Parekh is the perfect fit for the company in this phase of transition, given his skills in handling multi-cultural work environment and his proficiency in technology and sales.
The former Capgemini executive’s experience in building the IT giant’s operations In India and its acquisition of iGate (in 2015) will be a strong point for him.
Parekh was also Capgemini’s Chairman of the North America Executive Council. He joined the company in 2017 as a result of the acquisition of the consulting division of Ernst and Young and occupied various leadership positions in the company.
He began working for the company out of a small warehouse in the Vikhroli neighborhood in Mumbai. However, he soon expanded its operations, leading its largest business unit and making it efficient to compete on cost with competitors including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. as well as Infosys itself.
He was in-charge for strategy building and execution of the digital and cloud services. Parekh also played a pivotal role in setting up the company’s off-shoring capabilities and was a major architect of the company’s North America growth and turnaround.
The 53-year-old IT veteran is described as a soft-spoken, down-to-earth yet a determined man who was chosen from over two dozen candidates this time. He is armed with a Master of Engineering degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, US, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Parekh is only the second outsider after Sikka that Infosys has chosen to the helm of the 36-year-old company, where only its co-founders, middle-class engineers who set up the company with Rs. 10,000 shuffled through the CEO office.
It will be interesting to look out for whether Parekh strategizes on any ambitious revenue and margin target, something Sikka could not establish. “It will be important that he should not over promise on growth or margins when he does this. A major problem of past Infosys leadership has been setting unrealistic expectations at a time of industry change. He will need flexibility on margins as he builds the new digital Infosys and flexibility on growth as the new digital business cannibalizes the legacy book of business,” ET quoted Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group, as saying.
Parekh’s most challenging task at hand now will be to win over the broader firm and co-founder Narayana Murthy.
He will shift to Infosys’s base in Bengaluru, which is in contrast to Sikka who continued to be based in Palo Alto for the three years tenure.
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