Cognizant's Brian Humphries to be highest-paid among Indian IT firms' CEOs

Brian Humphries | Photo: @sang1983
IT services major Cognizant's newly-appointed chief executive officer (CEO) Brian Humphries can potentially earn up to Rs 44 crore per annum, including Rs 23 crore towards salary compensation. He will also get Rs 56 crore ($8 million) towards stock units in tranches over four years which is linked to his performance and Rs 28 crore ($4 million) as sign-in bonus.

Humphries, slated to join the Nasdaq-listed firm April 1, will also receive restricted stock units of $3 million (Rs 21 crore) within one month of joining. These will be vested in equal quarterly instalments over the period of three years, Cognizant said in a filing to the US market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission.

This will make Humphries, a Vodafone top executive, one of the best paid executives among the Indian-origin IT services companies.

"Your (Humphries) initial annual base salary will be £800,000 and will be payable in accordance with the normal payroll practices of the employing entity," the filing said. "In addition, you will be eligible to receive annual incentive compensation with a target of 200 per cent of your annual base salary and paid in the same currency as your base salary."

The board will also consider providing a corporate apartment in New York or New Jersey area for Humphries, who will work from London.

In comparison to Cognizant, heads of large domestic IT firms drew lesser salary in the last financial year. Market leader Tata Consultancy Services' CEO Rajesh Gopinathan earned over Rs 12 crore in FY18. This included Rs 1.02 crore in salary, Rs 60 lakh in perquisites, Rs 10 crore in commission, and Rs 86.8 lakh in other allowances.

The country's third-largest IT services firm Wipro CEO Abidali Z Neemuchwala received a compensation of Rs 18.23 crore during the last financial year. This included Rs 6.29 crore in gross salary, Rs 1.70 crore in variable pay and Rs 10.2 crore in other annual compensation along with perks. HCL Technologies CEO C Vijayakumar received a salary of Rs 33.12 crore in FY18 as per the Noida-headquartered firm’s annual report.

During the last financial year, Tech Mahindra CEO C P Gurnani earned Rs 146.19 crore; though the salary and perquisites component stood at Rs 3.89 crore with the rest coming from exercise of stock options worth Rs 142.30 crore.

For Infosys, comparable data sets are not available as Salil Parekh joined as CEO in January 2018 and his compensation for FY19 will be provided by the company after March 2019.

But according to his compensation letter during the time of joining, Parekh will draw a fixed salary component of Rs 6.5 crore with a variable pay of Rs 9.75 crore for 2018-19. Parekh is to also get Rs 18.25 crore through stock options linked to performance. This is, however, would be lesser than his predecessor, Vishal Sikka, whose compensation included a fixed annual salary of $5.08 million with a variable pay of $4.18 million and stock options worth $2 million, taking the total payout to around $11 million (around Rs 72 crore).

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