Wipro in hunt for new CEO following Neemuchwala resignation

06 February 2020 Consultancy.asia

Indian IT services and consulting firm Wipro is on the hunt for a new chief executive following the resignation of current CEO Abidali Neemuchwala.

Abidali Neemuchwala has after four years at the helm stepped down as CEO of Wipro, with the global IT services and consulting firm now in search of his successor. Appointed in 2016 after having previously spent more than two decades at Tata Consultancy Services, Neemuchwala has cited family commitments for his departure, but will remain as CEO and managing director until a suitable replacement is found.

“The board of directors has initiated a search to identify the next chief executive officer. Abid will continue to hold the office of CEO and managing director until a successor is appointed for a smooth transition and to ensure that business continues as usual,” Wipro stated in a stock exchange filing. According to reports, the company has cast a wide net in its hunt for a replacement, with a view to external candidates.   

Neemuchwala has during his time overseen modest revenue growth to $8 billion, with a global headcount now in excess of 175,000, but the company has further slipped in the pecking order amidst fierce competition from rivals TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Cognizant – the latter which nearly doubled its revenues from $8.8 billion in the five years to 2019. Neemuchwala had stated an aim of $15 billion by 2020.

Wipro in hunt for new CEO following Neemuchwala resignation

Nevertheless, Neemuchwala has been lauded for steering a necessary course correction and laying the foundations for future growth. “Over the last four years, Abid has put in place a robust strategy, helped drive some key acquisitions, built a strong execution mindset and scaled our digital business globally,” said Wipro chairman Rishad Premji. “We thank Abid for his leadership and his contributions to Wipro.”

 “It has been my honour and privilege to serve Wipro, a company with a rich legacy of almost 75 years,” Neemuchwala said in response. “We have made considerable progress in our transformation journey, improved our delivery engine and institutionalised deeper client centricity. I thank (founder) Azim Premji, Rishad, our Board of Directors, my Wipro colleagues and customers for their support over the years.”

Wipro’s incoming CEO will face no less of a challenge than their predecessor, in a market which has been forced to adapt from its traditional IT infrastructure and BPO services background due to the ongoing disruption form emerging technologies. Infosys (Salil Parekh) and TCS (Rajesh Gopinathan) have also both welcomed new CEOs over the past two or so years, along with Brian Humphries taking over at Cognizant last year.

Meanwhile, another market player – global professional service giant Accenture, which has around one third of its half a million employees based in India – has just launched a new innovation hub in Hyderabad, joining its existing country outlet in Bangalore. The new facility is spread across 300,000 square feet, where clients can “co-innovate and co-create solutions with more than 2,000 Accenture professionals.”

“Our research shows that organisations are struggling to achieve their innovation goals, due to the lack of an enterprise-wide strategy for technology investments and adoption,” said Accenture Technology Services group chief executive Bhaskar Ghosh (a former VP at Infosys). “Through our leading advanced technology capabilities, we help clients scale their technology investments and bridge the innovation achievement gap.”


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