India’s third-largest IT services exporter Wipro on Monday announced its most significant management change ever since TK Kurien took over as CEO in February 2011 with the appointment of Abid Ali Neemuchwala as Group president and chief operating officer effective April.
Neemuchwala, a 23-year veteran from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will be incharge of the entire operational engine while Kurien will focus on business relationships and strategy. This new structure is aimed at revving up the growth engine of Wipro, which has lagged behind its peers like TCS, Cognizant, Infosys in overall growth rates for a couple of years now.
In his new role, Abid will head the service lines of global infrastructure, business application, business process and advanced technology solutions. He will also head business operations and geographies comprising Continental Europe, Africa, and LATAM.
Kurien will focus on the business verticals besides the product engineering services and Wipro Infotech — Wipro’s India and West Asian arm. This will provide a further operational flexibility for the CEO who can now focus on the larger strategy of the $6.6-billion company.
Commenting on the appointment, Kurien said, “Abid brings invaluable experience with his track record of building and scaling businesses. I am confident his deep understanding of technology and expertise in all facets of IT & BPS businesses will help power our businesses to greater heights.”
As part of this management change, Wipro has also elevated two of its senior executives — GK Prasanna and Bhanumurthy BM as presidents. The other executive in the same rank is Anand Padmanabhan.
A senior Wipro executive, on the condition of annonymity, said, “This change reflects the maturity of the organisation where we have the depth in leadership while also enabling somebody from outside to settle into the set up and bring the change.”
Commenting on his appointment, Neemuchwala said, “I am honored to join Wipro, a company with a rich heritage of technology innovation and unflinching commitment to values. I look forward to contributing towards the company’s next phase of growth.”
Neemuchwala, who is based in Dallas, Texas, the US, is unlikely to relocate to India. He was till recently heading the BPO operations at TCS and has been a highly-regarded professional. This appointment also gives room to the speculation of an impending change at Wipro, as Kurien has completed four years as the CEO. However, sources indicated that it is too early to tell whether there would be a change as lot will depend on the success of the current structure.
Wipro, under Kurien, has been experimenting with bringing in senior-level executives from rival companies such as Infosys, TCS and Cognizant. The chief executive of its BFSI unit, Shaji Farooq, was earlier with Infosys while the chief business operations officer, Satishchandra D, was formerly with TCS.
A senior executive of a rival company, on this new appointment and changes, said, “It remains to be seen how well this new appointment is able to integrate with the Wipro culture but it is also perhaps a reflection on their internal leadership talent pool.”
* Aimed at revving up growth, that has lagged behind its peers like TCS, Cognizant, Infosys for a couple of years now
* CEO Kurien will focus on the business verticals besides the product engineering services and Wipro Infotech
* This will provide a further operational flexibility for the CEO to focus on the larger strategy of the $6.6-billion company
* Wipro has been experimenting with bringing in senior-level executives from rival companies