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BENGALURU: Infosys has appointed Salil Parekh chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of the company with effect from January 2 next year, culminating the search of a CEO which began since the departure of Vishal Sikka in August due to a spat with the founders over various issues.
Parekh, who has been appointed for five years and will be the second outsider CEO, joins from French IT and consulting company Capgemini where he is the CEO of financial services across Europe, North America and Asia. He has been with the company for 17 years and also a member of its executive committee.
“We are delighted to have Salil joining as the CEO & MD of Infosys. He 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. The board believes that he is the right person to lead Infosys at this transformative time in our industry,” Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani said in a statement on Saturday.
As part of the appointment, interim CEO and MD Pravin Rao, a company veteran, will step down from his role but continue as the chief operating officer and a whole time director till August 2022 “The board is also grateful to Pravin for his leadership during this period of transition,” Nilekani added.
Parekh, who has an engineering degree in aeronautics from IIT Bombay, has also completed his masters in computer science and mechanical engineering from Cornell University. He was a partner in global tax and audit firm Ernst & Young between 1992 and 2000 in financial services. He joined Capgemini in 2000 as a result of the acquisition of the consulting division of Ernst and Young.
“I would like to thank Salil for his involvement in the Capgemini journey. Salil contributed in particular to the development of the Group in India and in the US,” Capgemini CEO and chairman Paul Hermelin said in a separate statement.
Infosys will hope that Parekh’s background in the financial services industry throughout his career will help it garner more deals in the BFSI sector across Europe and North America. BFSI, the bread and butter for all Indian IT services companies, contributed about 33% to the company’s topline for the second quarter ended September 30.
“He was the top choice from a pool of highly qualified candidates. With his strong track record and extensive experience, we believe, we have the right person to lead Infosys,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson of the nomination & remuneration committee, said.
The appointment marks the end of the intense CEO search Infosys embarked in August, after a protracted public spat with the company’s founding executives, led by Narayana Murthy led to Sikka’s resignation, over alleged corporate governance lapses.
The public spat, which followed the resignation, was unprecedented in Infosys’ history leading also to the reshuffling of the board and the return of Nilekani as non-executive chairman. He said at that time that cultural fit would be an important criteria for the top job.