Bengaluru to Palo Alto, Infosys’ Success has More Than One Base
Sikka moved CEO’s office out of India, and he is unconventional
Kunal Talgeri, Jochelle Mendonca & TV Mahalingam
When Vishal Sikka was appointed Infosys CEO in mid-2014, the office of the CEO moved from Bengaluru to Palo Alto, with Sikka working out of both centres. (Only Cognizant among top-tier IT companies is headquartered outside India, in Teaneck, New Jersey.) And this unique arrangement is vital to how Infosys is controlled. It was good for clients but, for most of the senior management in India, for the first time in Infosys’ history, decisions taken in the US were having an impact in India. When Sikka arrived, he was the first technology-CEO in Infosys history. Earlier, operations and strategy preceded technology. This also means Sikka is new to operations, governance and financial controls—the holy trinity in an ultra-conservative, mostbrahmanical organisation.
On 13 February, he referred to himself as a “kshatriya warrior” to emphasize he is here to stay – his penchant for change and a fight was palpable.
Sikka is unconventional to say the least. The good news: young employees love him. Some advisors feel that if there is friction between founders and Infosys, it is a sign that the company is being reinvented.