Davos: Wipro Ltd founder Azim Premji has said his son Rishad Premji will never be the chief executive officer (CEO) of his company Wipro, but will represent promoter ownership on the company’s board. Rishad, 35, joined Wipro in 2007 as business head for special projects in the banking and financial services vertical and rose to become chief strategy officer three years later.
Premji, who founded Wipro, said becoming CEO was not the career path for the eldest of his two sons. “He (Rishad) is not going to be the chief executive officer, that’s not the career plan for him but, he would be representing ownership obviously,” Premji, chairman of Wipro, said in interviews on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Azim Premji directly owns 3.7% in the company, while entities related to him own over another 74%. Rishad has a direct ownership of 0.03% shares in Wipro. Rishad has for long been speculated to be a natural choice for taking over the company’s operations. Prior to joining Wipro, Rishad, a management graduate from Harvard Business School, worked with Bain and Co., working across segments like consumer products, automobiles, telecom and insurance.
There have been speculations of him being appointed as the CEO of the now de-merged entity of Wipro, which will include the non-IT business. The non-IT businesses of Wipro, which includes lighting, furniture, consumer care products and infrastructure engineering services, was hived off last year to focus on the core information technology (IT) business. It contributes about 10% of the company’s revenues. There have also been discussions around succession plans at Wipro after the retirement of Azim Premji, who is 67 now.