Infosys Sees First Non-Founder CEO as SAP Honcho Vishal Sikka Takes Over

Vishal SikkaVishal Sikka, former head of SAP AG, heading all SAP products and innovation is the latest choice of Infosys while Narayana Murthy said he would step down after a brief stint.

Sikka, who grew up in Vadodara, graduated in computer engineering at M S University, Baroda and moved to Stanford University in the US for his doctoral program.

After his Ph.D. in 1996, he worked briefly at Xerox’s research labs, and moved solo to set up iBrain which was later acquired by PatternRX. His second startup,, focused on developing technology for non-invasive, service-based integration of enterprise applications but soon joined Peregrine Systems as their area Vice-President for Platform Technologies and the PS in turn took over his second start up

Sikka joined SAP in 2002 as head of the advanced technology group and was later promoted as Senior Vice President of Architecture and Chief Software Architect.

In April 2007, Sikka was named SAP’s CTO reporting to then CEO Henning Kagermann and began to oversee broad changes that were under way at the company, including its renewed focus on the mid-market, the introduction of new on-demand products, and the continued rollout of NetWeaver and its SOA strategy.

When Léo Apotheker resigned as executive board member in 2010, Sikka was named to replace him, along with new co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe. Though his current contract expires in 2017, Sikka decided to quit SAP to take over reins of Infosys, at Narayana Murthy’s request.

Sikka will take over as Infosys Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director from current Chief Executive S.D. Shibulal, one of the founders, on August 1.

Sikka was known for his vision of ‘Timeless Software’ – software that does not cause disruption to the user as technology landscapes evolve – and proposed that this be a key pillar of SAP’s future development efforts.

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