Former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka joins Oracle board

Former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka joins Oracle board
Vishal SikkaPhoto Credit: Reuters
10 Dec, 2019

Enterprise cloud giant Oracle has signed on former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka to its board of directors. Sikka, 52, who is currently also the founder of AI (artificial intelligence) startup Vianai Systems, will be closely involved with the Larry Ellison-owned technology firm’s next generation cloud strategies. 

Prior to his Infosys assignment, Sikka was CTO of German technology major SAP, which is considered a big competitor to Oracle’s solutions portfolio.  

“Vishal clearly understands how Oracle’s gen2 cloud infrastructure, autonomous database and applications come together in the Oracle Cloud to help our customers drive business value and adapt to change,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a statement.

Commenting on being elected to the board, Sikka said that the Oracle database has been the heartbeat of every large organization in the world. “Today, Oracle is the only one of the big four cloud companies that offers both enterprise application suites and secure infrastructure technologies in a single unified cloud,” he said.

He also stated that Oracle held a unique position in applications and infrastructure and would pave the way for innovation and growth.

Back in 2013 as CTO of SAP, Sikka decided to turn towards cloud computing solutions, away from the ERP solutions for which SAP was more famously known. The move saw SAP lock horns directly with Oracle, an established cloud computing services provider.

Post his appointment as CEO of Bengaluru based IT services and consulting firm Infosys in June 2014, Sikka was credited with initiatives on emerging technologies such as AI. His strategies were well received by the company’s employees as well as the industry. However, he became infamous for his constant tussles with Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy which eventually saw him quit the company in 2017. 

Sikka’s biggest controversy as the CEO of Infosys was the acquisition of Israeli software firm Pananya for $200 million in February 2014, which was questioned by many in the industry and within the company as being too expensive. 

Speaking on Sikka’s appointment to the Oracle board, Ellison said he was one of the world’s leading experts in AI and machine learning.

“These AI technologies are key foundational elements of the Oracle Cloud’s autonomous infrastructure and intelligent applications. Vishal’s expertise and experience makes him ideally suited to provide strategic vision and expert advice to our company and to our customers,” Ellison said.

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