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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

Last updated on: June 13, 2014 11:39 IST

All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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Shishir Asthana in Mumbai

Vishal Sikka has been appointed as the new CEO and MD of IT-major Infosys. 

Here is all that you need to know about the new CEO of India's most talked about IT company:

Sikka completed his schooling from Rosary High School, Baroda, where his father worked as an officer in the Indian Railways. 

After graduating in computer engineering from MS University, Baroda, Sikka finished his BS in computer science from Syracuse University and his doctorate in artificial intelligence from Stanford University. 

Sikka is well known among the Silicon Valley elite, and was very close to Hasso Plattner, founder of SAP.

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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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Here are five events you should know about Vishal Sikka: 

1. After completing his education, Sikka worked at Xerox's research at the Palo Alto Labs, but later ventured out on his own.

He started his first company, iBrain, along with his brother, which was later acquired by PatternRX, Inc.

His second startup, Bodha.com, was acquired by Peregrine Systems, where Sikka worked as vice president for platform technologies, post the acquisition.

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Photographs: Gregor Wolf/Wikimedia Commons

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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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2. Sikka joined SAP in 2002 to head the advanced technology group responsible for strategic innovative projects.

By 2007, he was named the first CTO of the company reporting directly to the CEO. He was responsible for all SAP products and innovation.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Vishal Sikka's Twitter account

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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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3. A car accident in Costa Rica in 2008, when Sikka was vacationing there with family, was a turning point in his life as well as that of SAP.

Though no one was seriously injured in the accident, Sikka wanted to move on in life rather than continue with his job.

Over dinner in the winter of 2008 in Aspen, Sikka tried to explain to SAP's founder Plattner that he wanted out of the company and work on newer technological areas which were affecting data computation speed.

Plattner in turn challenged Sikka to intellectually renew SAP and gave him a free hand to do so.

Thus, HANA (High Performance Analytic Appliance), one of the fasted selling SAP products, was born, which completely changed the fortunes of SAP.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Vishal Sikka's Twitter account

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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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4. Sikka's exit from SAP has shaken the company. A Business Insider article said that Sikka was a victim of power struggle within the company.

SAP, a German company, was witnessing a power struggle between prominent members in Germany and those in the US.

Sikka was seen as an American executive in the company and Plattner's man.

European board members, customers and big investors were concerned about how SAP was increasingly becoming an American company, especially since the current CEO, Bill McDermott, was an American.

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Photographs: Courtesy, SAP

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All that you need to know about Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

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5. Sikka's exit gathered speed after a German magazine, DAS E-3 Magazin, published a critical article about SAP's internal politics, the German-American power struggle and how Sikka was directly in competition with the German head and a prospective future CEO.

Sikka responded to the article in his personal blog and slammed the article and author, criticising the story as 'a fabrication of a gossip-monger'.

The blog did not go down well with the top brass in Germany and Sikka had to go.


Photographs: Courtesy, Vishal Sikka's Twitter account

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