The TK Kurien era has ended at Wipro. The vice-chairman, who was its CEO earlier, will retire from India’s third largest IT services exporter on January 31 after spending 17 years with the company. Kurien who was elevated as vice chairman in February, 2016 was scheduled to remain with the company till March this year, but will be leaving two months prior to this scheduled departure.
Wipro chairman Azim Premji said, “TK has been an integral part of the organisation’s leadership for years. He has played a vital role in building and scaling many of Wipro’s successful businesses besides spearheading our transformation into a future ready organisation.”
One of the options that Wipro could consider is bringing Rishad Premji into the vice-chairman role. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the company.
Kurien took over as the CEO of Wipro’s IT business in February, 2011 after the company dismantled the joint CEO structure. Over the span of the next five years, Wipro under the leadership of Kurien brought in numerous changes which were attempts to make the company future ready and agile.
In terms of financial performance, only in the first fiscal year under Kurien’s leadership, Wipro recorded a double digit growth rate of 13.4% for FY12 but post that the company annual revenue rise has always been in single digits. Later Abidali Neemuchwala, a 23 year old veteran with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) took over as CEO.
Kurien was seen as a hard driving executive who established deeper relationships with key clients. He was also one of the earliest votaries for adopting advance technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), automation, digital among the Indian IT services companies.