Rewarding and retaining top talent seem to be the trend these days. After Alphabet rewarded its top three executives including Sundar Pichai who received $199 million restricted stocks, it’s time for Vishal Sikka to get into the elite club. Infosys, India’s second largest software exporter rewarded its CEO with extended tenure, significant higher component of stock options, and also reducing his part of salary which was linked to variable pay. This was because the Board was happy with how Vishal Sikka has put India’s second largest software services firm back on the growth path.
The former SAP’s product chief’s total compensation now stands at $11 million a year from January 2017, which includes $1 million in base salary, $3 million in variable pay, $2 million in restricted stock units, and another $5 million in stock options, which will be awarded based on how Infosys performs in a year. As part of his previous salary contract, Sikka made $7.08 million, including stock options.
The extension gives Sikka, who took over as Infosys’s first non-founder CEO in August 2014, a chance to steer Infosys towards its 2020 goal of becoming a $20 billion company by annual revenue. Sikka will be chief executive and managing director of Infosys for a period of five years, starting 1 April 2016 and ending 31 March 2021. Under the earlier five-year contract, Sikka’s term was to end on 13 June 2019. Other than the revised pay package, Sikka will also enjoy other normal employee benefits and paid vacations, along with reimbursements related to business expenses, Infosys said.
“The Company’s Nomination and Remuneration Committee (Committee) and Board recognized the outstanding initiatives taken by Dr Vishal Sikka (Dr Sikka) towards restoring the company to Industry leadership, which have already begun to show results,” said a company statement sent to the stock exchanges. “The management, under the leadership of Dr Sikka has drawn up goals for revenue, margins and people productivity for the financial year 2020-2021 which are expected to be progressively achieved in the next five years. The Board believes that Dr Sikka’s leadership will be essential to achieve these goals,” the statement added.
At SAP AG, Sikka earned $5.75 million, and also held stock units. Sikka’s compensation of $11 million at Infosys makes him the highest paid CEO in the Indian information technology industry.