Wipro CEO will resign one year before his term ends

BENGALURU: In a widely expected move, CEO Abidali Neemuchwala resigned, one year before his five-year term ended. Neemuchwala cited family commitments, but analysts say the decision would also have been driven by the company's lackluster performance.

He will continue to hold the position until a successor is appointed to ensure a smooth transition.

Selected by hand by the Wipro promoter Azim Premji In 2015, Neemuchwala, who had spent 23 years previously, tried to launch Wipro's sales and delivery engines. But the efforts did not work as expected, and the company's growth rate continued well behind that of its TCS, Cognizant, Infosys and HCL peers.

Moshe Katri, MD, based in the United States, said that in recent years, the company's financial metrics had a consistently lower performance in relation to its level 1 peers. “Structurally, in relation to its industry peers, we believe that Wipro continues to have substantial exposure to legacy-based projects. The delivery of these projects is gradually changing to alternative means, including SaaS, cloud and automation, which triggers persistent cannibalization in Wipro's revenue growth. In our opinion, the Wipro board has the opportunity to nominate a change agent with the mandate to make the business transition, he said.

Phil Fersht, CEO of HfS Research, based in the United States, said Neemuchwala's permanence in Wipro was plagued by a constant struggle to change the company's leadership culture. He was eager to bring a start-up mentality to drive more entrepreneurship and creative ideas, and had some successes, such as the acquisition and expansion of Topcoder and driving the establishment of the Rishad Premji venture capital fund. However, he did not make all the changes he would have liked and was in a constant battle to instill his spirit, he said.

Under Neemuchwala, Wipro grew at a compound annual rate of 3%.