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New Infy CEO to take home $5m

Mumbai, July 2: Infosys will pay Vishal Sikka $5.08 million (Rs 30 crore) in annual salary, besides stock options, making him the highest paid CEO in the information technology sector.

Sikka, who will take over as the managing director & CEO of Infosys from August 1, will be drawing 60 per cent more than N. Chandrasekaran, the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services. Chandrasekaran earned an annual compensation of Rs 18.68 crore for the year ended March 31, 2014. Sikka’s package will also be higher than Wipro CEO T. K. Kurien, who took home over Rs 16 crore in 2013-14.

Sikka will also be among the top-paid professional CEOs among domestic non-IT companies.

The Bangalore-based company made this disclosure while seeking shareholders’ approval for the appointment of Sikka at its forthcoming extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on July 30.

In its notice to shareholders, Infosys said Sikka will earn an annual base salary of $9,00,000 and a variable pay of $4.18 million. Moreover, he will be eligible to receive an annual stock option equal to $2 million in value. Sikka will be earning almost the same as he did in SAP.

However, the compensation is not comparable to some of the global IT giants. While the CEO of Microsoft earns around $18 million, the IBM chief gets around $16.2 million.

Sikka, 47, will replace S. D. Shibulal — one of the seven engineers who founded Infosys in 1981 — and will be the first non-promoter CEO of Infosys. Sikka has been appointed for a five-year period ending June 13, 2019.

The appointment of Sikka came after Infosys was rattled by top-level exits that included CFO V. Balakrishnan, global manufacturing head Ashok Vemuri and president B. G. Srinivas.

Last month, Infosys announced that N. R. Narayana Murthy and his son Rohan will also be stepping down four years ahead of their tenure.

The son of an Indian Railways officer, Sikka completed his early education from Rosary High School at Baroda and later studied computer engineering.

Sikka, who initially joined Xerox as a researcher, had founded two start-ups.

He joined SAP AG in 2002, heading its advanced technology group and was later appointed as its chief technology officer.

Analysts feel Sikka will have to deal with the challenges of bringing down the attrition rate and improving the company’s margins.

 
 
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