CEO Francisco D'Souza hands over to Brian Humphries at Cognizant

03 April 2019

Brian Humphries has taken the helm at ICT consultancy Cognizant, replacing outgoing chief Francisco D'Souza after 12 years in the role.

Ex-Vodafone Business CEO Brian Humphries has this week taken the reins at IT services and tech consultancy Cognizant, with long-term CEO and co-founder Francisco D’Souza transitioning to the interim role of executive vice chairman. D’Souza has held the top job since 2007 – for close to half of Cognizant’s existence, with the firm celebrating its 25th anniversary earlier this year.

During his time as CEO, D’Souza has overseen a rapid growth in revenue at the professional services giant, Cognizant last year breaking the $16 billion revenue barrier from a base of at $2.8 billion in 2008 and consequently crashing into the Fortune 200. The firm has also made upwards of 40 acquisitions under D’Souza’s watch – right up until this month, with the purchase of Dublin-based fintech firm Meritsoft.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I would like to thank Frank for his incredible dedication and pioneering leadership of the Company,” said Cognizant Chairman Michael Patsalos-Fox. “During his tenure as CEO, the Company increased annual revenue over ten times what it was when he took over, becoming a Fortune 200 company. We are grateful that Frank has agreed to continue to serve on the Board and fortunate that we will continue to benefit from his experience and energy.”

Naturally, Humphries has big shoes to fill, but brings a wealth of executive tech experience to the role, having together with Vodafone served at Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Dell over the past two decades. Most recently acting as the CEO of Vodafone Business – which accounts for nearly a third of the telco giant’s revenue – Humphries spent more than ten years at Hewlett Packard, latterly as a Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets.CEO Francisco D'Souza hands over to Brian Humphries at CognizantFrom there, Humphries joined Dell, becoming President, Worldwide Enterprise Solutions, before taking on the role of President and Chief Operating Officer for its Infrastructure Solutions Group upon Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC – still the largest tech deal in history, and by some margin. “With a strong track record of success across different companies, cultures and roles, Brian is the right executive to lead Cognizant,” said.

Patsalos-Fox continues: “Our industry is entering a dynamic new growth stage. Brian is a broadly experienced technology executive with a proven track record of driving enterprise-wide transformation through focused execution, often in challenging and highly competitive market segments. Brian brings a global perspective and a keen knowledge of our businesses and the technologies with which we innovate.”

With Humphries now on board, D’Souza will carry out the executive vice chairman role during the transition period to the end of June, after which he will serve the board as a vice chairman. Cognizant president Rajeev Mehta has also stepped down, and will depart in May after 22 years at the company. “We're grateful to Raj for his countless contributions to the growth and success of Cognizant,” D’Souza said, wishing Mehta success in his future endeavours.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join Cognizant, which has been at the forefront of the digital revolution – driving innovative and transformational change for many of the largest enterprises in the world,” Humphries said at the time of his appointment. “I look forward to building on the great work and collaboration Cognizant has with clients, the development of innovative solutions and its operational execution and strength. The opportunity to lead Cognizant is an exciting one.”

While Cognizant has seen exceptional growth in recent years, there’s certainly room for more should it successfully tap Asia, where the firm has seven offices – with the North American and European markets accounting for more than $15 billion of its 2018 revenues. Close competitor Infosys is increasingly eyeing the region, this week finalising a joint venture with Hitachi in Japan and in September signing a deal with Singaporean state investment firm Temasek.


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Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration leader

16 April 2019

Deloitte has brought in Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration Leader. Hayler crosses from FTI Consulting – continuing the recent personnel shuffle in the regional forensics space.

Following the onboarding of veteran forensics expert Jarrod Baker as its new Forensic Investigations Leader for Southeast Asia earlier this year, global professional services leader Deloitte has added another ex-FTI Consulting executive to its regional forensics practice with the appointment of Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration leader. It’s Hayler’s second stint at the Big Four firm.

Originally starting out as an auditor in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals & energy practice of fellow Big Four firm KPMG in the UK (via a five-year Technical Director role with specialist life sciences consultancy Primarius), Hayler after three years crossed to Deloitte in 2008, serving as an Associate Director for its Forensic & Dispute Services division in London, and then from 2012 in Singapore. 

From there, Hayler joined the Singapore office of FTI Consulting’s Economic & Financial practice, promoted to senior managing director at the beginning of last year. Now, like his colleague Baker, Hayler has returned for his second stint with Deloitte, after respectively four and nearly six years with FTI. Meanwhile, FTI recently added e-discovery expert Christopher Marks as a senior managing director – continuing its global raid on Ernst & Young.

“I am delighted to be returning to Deloitte rejoining old friends and being on board with a great team,” Hayler said. This is an exciting time to be back at Deloitte as the firm has made great strides integrating to serve its clients across Asia Pacific better and I look forward to being part of that success.” As of September last year, Deloitte began integrating its Asia Pacific arms into single operational unit – with a co-attendant $321 million investment committed to human capital.Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration Leader in Southeast AsiaHayler across his career has developed expertise in a broad range of  competencies around forensics, disputes and litigation, including complex valuations, M&A and contractual disputes, accounting irregularities; alleged misappropriation, asset tracing and fraud investigations among others – having led or advised teams multiple jurisdictions in “some of the largest and most complex cases in the last decade.”

“Having Richard in our leadership team is a strong market differentiator,” said Tim Phillipps, Deloitte’s Financial Crime Strategy and Response Network leader for APAC. “His track record and extensive experience will be critical as we continue to expand and strengthen our presence in the Southeast Asia region.  It will enhance our capacity to serve our clients, and ensure that we continue to provide clear, timely and insightful counsel.”

In addition to Deloitte, Hayler serves on the Standards Review Board of the International Valuation Standards Council, as well as being a member of the adjunct faculty at Singapore Management University’s School of Law and the Honorary Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Singapore. He was also last year a group representative for financial & fintech business group with the local British Chamber of Commerce.

According to the firm, Hayler’s recruitment forms part of its plans to expand its forensics services in the region – a practice which has already grown substantially in recent years to include more than 125 dedicated forensic practitioners based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with growth driven by investment in disputes and arbitration, electronic discovery, investigations, forensic digital platforms and financial crime advisory and analytics among other areas.