Infosys appoints heavyweight Mark Livingston as new head of consulting

17 January 2019 3 min. read
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Former Cognizant head of consulting Mark Livingston has taken up the same role at Infosys, appointed as the Indian IT giant’s new head of consulting.

After a period of leadership instability at the top of Indian IT consulting and outsourcing giant Infosys, which prompted the Economist to write, “The quickest way to start a Mexican wave in India is to head to the campus of Infosys and ask all those who think they should be in charge to raise their hands,” things appear to be settling down at the firm with a number of new hires, including ex-McKinsey partner John Gikopoulos as the new Global Head of its automation and AI consulting division.

The latest recruitment coup is Mark Livingston, former head of consulting at rival Cognizant, who last month took over as Managing Partner and Global Head of Consulting at Infosys out of the US.  During his nine-year stint with Cognizant, Livingston is credited with expanding the consultancy headcount from less than 1,000 individuals in 2008 to a force of 6,000 at the time of his departure in the beginning of 2017. Cognizant, over that time, increased its revenues seven-fold – to be now a Fortune 200 firm.

With approximately half the number of consultants as its close competitor, it’s clear that Infosys, under the guidance of new CEO and former Capgemini executive Salil Parekh, intends to significantly ramp up its consulting capacity, marked by last year’s acquisitions of WONGDOODY in the US and Salesforce cloud consultancy Fluido in Europe, and further cemented by the recruitment of 30-plus year management consulting veteran Livingston.Mark Livingston, Global Head of Consulting - Infosys Kicking off his professional career with Touche Ross in way back in 1985, after a five year period in the nuclear missile division of the United States Airforce, Livingston over nine years role to the role of director at Deloitte – focused on strategic Information Technology – before joining Grant Thornton as a Managing Partner in Missouri in 1995 (Livingston studied accounting at the University of Alabama, in addition to gaining an economics degree at Mississippi University).

From Grant Thornton, Livingston joined management firm A.T. Kearney as a Partner and leader of its Global Strategic Technology & Business Transformation Practice, staying with the firm for 13 years and ultimately rising to Managing Partner and CEO for Latin America based out of São Paulo in Brazil. More recently, following his stint at Cognizant, Livingston was last year drafted in to expand the advisory services practice of Accenture and Microsoft venture Avande.  

At Infosys, Livingstone replaces Ken Toombs, a former PwC partner who came to the firm via a CEO role at Capgemini Consulting (recently rebranded as Capgemini Invent) and who departed late last year to take up a position as Head of Americas with PA Consulting – which has also been ramping up its global digital consulting capacities. Toombs is among a wave of senior executives who have departed the firm amidst the shake-up, the latest being global industries head Sudip Singh who resigned last week.

Infosys has so far yet to comment of Livingston’s appointment, but previously Parekh spoke of  senior recruitment focus moving ahead.  “My sense is we have a tremendous opportunity and options within, and now I’ve started to see quite a few people from outside who are calling us to join the leadership levels from some of our competitors. So we have the opportunity to start bringing people from outside as well. So far, I’ve not done that, but over time it will be a mix, predominantly of internal candidates and occasionally some external as well.”

Meanwhile, Cogizant is also looking to potentially bring in outside leadership, with a current senior Accenture executive said to be in the mix to replace outgoing CEO Francisco D'Souza.