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Sikka from SAP to be Infosys boss; Murthy to step down, Rohan to quit

New Delhi, June 12 (PTI): Infosys, India’s second largest software services firm, on Thursday announced the appointment of former SAP board member Vishal Sikka as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.

Sikka, the first outsider to lead the Bangalore-based firm, will take over as Infosys CEO & MD from S. D. Shibulal on August 1, 2014.

The company said co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy will also step down as Executive Chairman from June 14. He came back from retirement in June last year in a bid to put the company back on a high-growth trajectory at a time when peers TCS and HCL Tech were out-performing Infosys.

Moreover, S. Gopalakrishnan will also voluntarily step down as Executive Vice Chairman with effect from June 14, 2014, Infosys said in a statement.

Sikka, who is considered the brain behind SAP's Hana platform, will be inducted as whole-time director on the board and CEO & MD (Designate) on June 14, 2014, Infosys said.

Sikka studied computer engineering at MS University Baroda and holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University.

He will succeed Shibulal who will step down from the board on July 31, 2014, much ahead of his retirement next year.

Sikka was previously an executive board member of German tech giant SAP, and was responsible for all products -- from traditional and cloud-based applications to technology and platform products including HANA, analytics, mobile and middleware.

Shares of Infosys were trading higher by nearly one per cent on BSE in early trade.

Infosys has also elevated UB Pravin Rao, President and whole-time director, as Chief Operating Officer, with effect from June 14, 2014, the statement said.

Other changes include whole-time director Srinath Batni stepping down from the board on July 31, 2014, and elevation of 12 leaders to the position of Executive Vice-Presidents with additional responsibilities.

Veteran banker K.V. Kamath will become Non-executive Chairman of the board on October 11, 2014, while Murthy will be designated as Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his contributions to the company, Infosys said.

Murthy was brought back from retirement in June last year as Executive Chairman to turnaround the company, which was once the IT bellwether. Since then, 11 top executives have left the company.

Upon his return, Murthy had set up the Executive Chairman's office, which will now be dissolved. His son, Rohan Murty, who had joined the firm with his father as assistant, will also leave the company on June 14, 2014.

“Vishal brings valuable experience as a leader of a large, global corporation. His illustrious track record and value system make him an ideal choice to lead Infosys,” Murthy said.

Commenting on his appointment as CEO and MD, Sikka said: ”I am honoured to lead Infosys, an iconic company built by pioneers in the technology industry.”

”Computing technology is reshaping every industry across every walk of life. We, at Infosys, have a unique opportunity to deliver breakthrough solutions that will bring greater value to our clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders,” Sikka said.