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Infosys names a new CEO: welcome to the hot-seat Salil S. Parekh

Former CapGemini man steps in after last CEO bailed after nasty sniping

Infosys has named its next leader: Salil S. Parekh will become as CEO an managing director as of January 2nd, 2018, and has been appointed for five years.

Parekh has spent the last 25 years of his working life at Capemini, where he reached the rank of deputy CEO and sat on the Group Executive Board.

Infosys needed a new CEO because its last one, Vishal Sikka, resigned after a whispering campaign that saw rumours of impropriety and anonymous criticism reach the Indian press. That campaign was believed to have tacit approval from Infosys founders who remained on the company's board.

Whatever the source, Sikka said his job had become untenable and quit in August 2017.

Infosys' chair Nandan Nilekani's canned statement said: “The Board believes that [Parekh] is the right person to lead Infosys at this transformative time in our industry.”

Technology Business Research senior services analyst Boz Hristov said: “To succeed … first and foremost Parekh must be really good on playing the company politics, because as we recently saw [Infosys co-founder] NRN Murthy is still the 'real' CEO behind the scenes. If Parekh gets under Murthy’s skin he has a chance to become the golden child”.

Hristov expects Parekh “initially to play the role of a mediator between old and new Infosys and then to become an innovator and disruptor”. But to succeed, he said, the new CEO will need to pull off divestments, reform Infosys' sales strategy and invest in “technology-inclined strategy consultancy of the caliber of Roland Berger”. If Parekh can't get those jobs done, Hristov said the new CEO will probably be out the door after about three years. ®

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