Know Salil Parekh, the man who slips into Sikka's empty shoes at Infosys

File photo of Salil S. Parekh appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (CEO & MD) of Infosys |PTI Photo
Infosys, India's number two IT services company on Saturday named Salil S Parekh as its new chief executive officer and managing director.

In a BSE filing, Infosys chairman, Nandan Nilekani said, "Parekh has nearly three decades of global experience in the IT services industry. He has a strong track record of executing business turnarounds and managing very successful acquisitions."

Who is Salil Parekh?

Infosys has once again appointed an outsider as the CEO. Parekh was the top choice from a pool of highly qualified candidates. Parekh has a Master of Engineering degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

He joins Infosys from Capgemini where he was a member of the Group Executive Board. Parekh joined Capgemini in 2000 as a result of the acquisition of the consulting division of Ernst and Young and occupied various leadership positions in the Group.

Welcoming him on board, Nilekani said, "The Board believes that he is the right person to lead Infosys at this transformative time in our industry."

Salil's 25 years journey at Capgemini as a member of the Group Executive Board:

He was responsible for overseeing a business cluster comprising Application Services (North America, UK, Asia), Cloud Infrastructure Services, and Sogeti (Technology & Engineering Services Division). He was also the Chairman of the company’s North America Executive Council.

Salil leveraged Digital and Cloud services to drive transformation for clients.

* He was responsible for the strategy and execution of the Cloud business

* Setting its direction and enabling its rapid adoption at clients. He was also the architect of the North America growth and turnaround and was instrumental in setting up their off-shoring capabilities.

Vishal Sikka's departure

The company’s last CEO hunt in 2014 was a major challenge. Sikka, the eventual choice who was plucked from a top job at SAP, was the first chief appointed from outside the group of founders. His brief was to turn around a faltering business. In August, Sikka made a dramatic departure from the company.

Here is a timeline of events related to Infosys saga:

AUG 18:  Sikka resigns

Aug 2014: Vishal Sikka, a former SAP AG executive board member, takes over from S.D. Shibulal as Infosys chief executive to revive the fortunes of the company which was losing market share.

Dec 2014: Some of Infosys's founders — N.R. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani, S.D. Shibulal and K. Dinesh—sell shares worth $1.1 billion in the company, cashing in on a more than 20 per cent gain in the stock since Sikka’s appointment.

Feb 2016: Board decides to extend Sikka’s tenure by two years to 2021.

Feb 2017: Infosys says had already addressed concerns about executive pay after media reported that its founders had complained about decisions including a pay hike for Sikka.

Feb 2017: Company reassures investors and analysts it was not being distracted by a dispute with founders.

April 2017: Founder Murthy criticizes salary hike given to Chief Operating Officer, Pravin Rao.

April 2017: Company announces $2 billion cash return to shareholders and appoints Independent Director Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman of board. Moves seen aimed at placating some founders and former executives who were critical of the management.

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