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Infosys taps Capgemini brass after top tier unrest

Infosys taps Capgemini brass after top tier unrest

Former Capgemini executive, Salil S Parekh, named as the new CEO

Global IT services firm, Infosys, has named Salil S Parekh as its new chief executive, picking an outsider for the job for a second time and handing him the twin challenges of reviving growth and forging peace between its founders and board following a public spat.

Parekh, who is joining from consultancy firm, Capgemini, where he was a member of its group executive team, has been given a five-year term, effective 2 January, Infosys said in a statement.

U.B. Pravin Rao, who was serving as the interim CEO, has been re-designated as chief operating officer from 2 January, the India-headquartered company said.

"He (Parekh) has nearly three decades of global experience in the IT services industry," said Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani. "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."

Parekh, who joined Capgemini back in 2000, resigned from the Paris-based company following "recent managerial evolutions" announced in October, Capgemini said in a separate release.

His departure will be effective on 1 January, the statement said.

Parekh, who had been instrumental in expanding Capgemini's India team, had once been seen as a potential successor to Capgemini CEO Paul Hermelin.

Parekh's roles at Capgemini included heading the strategic business unit of geographies such as North America, the United Kingdom as well as local business units in India and Australia.

"Salil brings in a skill mix which is widely known in the business advisory side and in the boardrooms of many of Infosys's clients, current and prospective," said Malay Shah, a senior director at Alvarez & Marsal.

"He will likely be a great market face for Infosys, driving growth and deal wins. The existing setup at Infosys, with Nandan as chairman and Salil as CEO, is capable of addressing key operational and technology challenges."

Former Infosys CEO and MD, Dr. Vishal Sikka, who resigned in August
Former Infosys CEO and MD, Dr. Vishal Sikka, who resigned in August

Former CEO Vishal Sikka announced a sudden exit in August after a protracted public spat with the company's founding executives, led by Narayana Murthy, over strategy and alleged corporate governance lapses.

Sikka, who joined from German software maker SAP in 2014, was the first outsider to be made CEO of the Bengaluru-headquartered company.

His exit and the prolonged public row led to a reshuffling of the Infosys' board with Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder and former CEO, returning as non-executive chairman.

Nilekani, credited with four-fold growth in Infosys' revenue to US$2 billion during his tenure as CEO, had said at the time that cultural fit would be an important criteria for the top job, making internal candidates "very strong contenders."

(Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Euan Rocha, Rafael Nam and Jason Neely)

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