Wipro looking at external candidates for next CEO after Neemuchwala's exit

Abidali Neemuchwala, CEO of Wipro. Photo: PTI
Information technology (IT) services major Wipro is learnt to be evaluating a few external candidates and at least two internal aspirants for its top post after incumbent Abidali Neemuchwala announced his exit late last month.

According to sources in the know, some of external candidates being considered for the post of chief executive officer (CEO) include Bhaskar Ghosh of Accenture, Ritesh Idnani of Tech Mahindra (TechM), Ravi Kumar S of Infosys, and Nitin Rakesh of Mphasis, among others.

Bhaskar Ghosh, who is the group chief executive of Accenture Technology Services, has recently been named advisor to the company’s new CEO Julie Sweet with affect from March this year, as part of its organisational restructuring.

Ritesh Idnani, also former Infosys top executive, is currently TechM president and is responsible for its business process management business.

Ravi Kumar S, the deputy chief operating officer and president at Infosys and Nitin Rakesh, CEO at Mphasis, are some of the other contenders for the top job.

Wipro needs a leader with the licence to change things. If the next CEO is merely a ‘yes man’ to the board, it makes no difference whether it opts for internal or external candidates,” said Phil Fersht, founder and CEO, HFS Research. “Some potential internal candidates could be Rajan Kohli and Milan Rao,” he added.  

Rajan Kohli is heading Wipro’s digital and consulting division, while Milan Rao, who joined the firm from GE Healthcare, heads Wipro’s core transformation office-marketing, innovation, and technology.

A Wipro spokesperson said the company is only looking at external candidates. “The search process led by the governance, nomination and compensation committee of Wipro’s board of directors will be looking only at external candidates for the position of CEO. We have no further comments,” the company said.

Last week, Wipro announced that its CEO Abidali Neemuchwala has resigned from the firm due to family commitments, and its board of directors has begun the process of looking for the next CEO.

"Wipro has to find a way to sustain leadership at the CEO level to be able to grow. Despite being one of the first Indian IT firms to identify the digital trend and pivot towards it, the firm has been unable to maintain trajectory due to internal strife and has fallen behind its peers," said Hansa Iyengar, senior analyst at global consulting firm Omdia.

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