Nandy adds to senior Wipro executive exits

Nandy adds to senior Wipro executive exits
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First Published: Wed, Sep 17 2008. 12 37 AM IST

Logging out: Sudip Nandy. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Logging out: Sudip Nandy. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Updated: Wed, Sep 17 2008. 12 37 AM IST
Bangalore: When Sudip Nandy, Wipro Ltd’s president for telecom, media and technology, quit on Monday, he became the latest among a group of senior executives, most reporting to chairman Azim H. Premji, who have left the company since April.
That’s when Premji named Suresh Vaswani and Girish Paranjpe joint chief executives.
A person familiar with the situation said more departures are in the offing, including that of T.K. Kurien, head of global programme at Wipro.
Kurien denied he was quitting the company. “Not true. Every time someone quits Wipro, my name also figures,” he said.
Logging out: Sudip Nandy. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Wipro shares fell 2.62% to Rs391.75 on Tuesday, on a day when the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex index declined 0.09%. The shares are trading well off their 52-week high of Rs552.
Most of the departing executives have gone on to bigger, or top jobs.
Sudip Banerjee, who was moved in April from heading enterprise solutions to Azim Premji Investments, the private investment arm of Premji, joined mid-sized IT firm L&T Infotech Ltd as CEO.
P.R. Chandrasekar, the head of Wipro’s American operations, left to join Hexaware Technologies Ltd as CEO.
Nandy, whose last day at Wipro is at the end of this month, has not announced plans of what he plans to do next. He did not respond to messages.
A former head of strategy, Nandy played a key part in Wipro’s so-called “string of pearls” strategy of buying some 12 firms, including Infocrossing Inc.
Chandrasekar couldn’t be reached. Banerjee, however, noted that the April reorganization “has made people decide on their priorities”.
“Movement of people such as Sudip, who is so impactful, will certainly be felt, but to the credit of Wipro, it has also invested in leadership development,” said Priya Chetty Rajagopal, vice-president at the India office of Stanton Chase International, an executive search firm that also worked for Wipro.
While declining to comment on specific departures, Wipro spokeswoman Radha Radhakrishnan said: “People will always leave organizations for various reasons, and if the organization has a leadership engine like Wipro...it continues to grow from strength to strength.”
Agreed one outsider. “It (executives quitting) may have a short-term impact. But Wipro has built a good layer of top management leadership that can withstand changes,” said Sabyasachi S. Satyaprasad, research director at offshore advisory firm NeoIT.
The executive departures at Wipro come at an increasingly difficult time for the company as well as many of its peers, such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Technologies Ltd, all of whom are bracing for a business slowdown stemming from a global economic slump and also because of the turmoil on Wall Street, where Indian IT companies have large customers.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc., which agreed to be sold to Bank of America Corp. for $50 billion (Rs2.3 trillion), and troubled insurer American International Group Inc. are all companies that outsource business to India.
While Mint couldn’t immediately ascertain which Indian firms do more business with some of these affected financial giants, Wipro, for instance, gets around 25% of its total revenue from banks, finance firms and insurers.
To be sure, this isn’t the first time that several senior executives have left Wipro—all at once.
In 1999, then vice-chairman Ashok Soota and six other senior executives left to form MindTree Ltd, then known as MindTree Consulting Ltd.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 17 2008. 12 37 AM IST