Home / Companies / Wipro healthcare division head Sangita Singh leaves

Bengaluru: Sangita Singh, the head of Wipro Ltd’s healthcare and life sciences division, is leaving the company.

This marks the second senior executive departure at India’s third largest software exporter after the head of the media and telecom unit left the firm last month.

Worryingly for Wipro, three senior executives have left the company since the start of the fiscal year, when the company undertook its biggest management reshuffle in four years, which included the appointment of former Tata Consultancy Services Ltd executive Abid Ali Neemuchwala as chief operating officer.

A spokesman for Wipro confirmed Singh is leaving the firm, but did not provide a reason for her exit.

“After a sterling career of 23 years with Wipro, Sangita Singh, chief executive of the healthcare and life sciences strategic business unit, has decided to pursue a career outside of the company," said a spokesman for Wipro.

Wipro’s clients from the healthcare and life sciences business account for $800 million of its $7.1 billion in revenue.

The company has tasked Jeffrey Heenan-Jalil, senior vice-president and global head of Wipro Analytics, to run the healthcare and life sciences division.

These senior management exits come at a time when the firm is looking to extend T.K. Kurien’s tenure as chief executive officer for at least a year after his current five-year term ends in January, Mint reported on 26 October.

Wipro’s inability to come back to industry-matching growth numbers and the management reshuffle that saw few executives promoted to higher roles, leaving few others “disappointed", are at the core of these recent exits, according to three executives familiar with the matter.

Since 2011, Wipro has struggled to grow more than 8% in US dollar terms in a year. In the last twelve months, it has elevated two of its business unit heads and two heads from the delivery side of the business to the rank of president, making some executives who have not have been elevated feel left out.

“Well, clearly, there seems to be some discontent among executives who believe they should have been promoted but have not been," said the head of an executive search firm.

However, a senior executive at Wipro dismissed any talk of dissatisfaction among the senior management, saying the company has had a stable senior leadership over the last few years.

“Even after we undertook this big reshuffle (earlier this year), everyone is with Wipro, save for two executives. So to relate every management exit to succession planning or appointment of new COO will be wrong," said the executive, declining to be named.

Wipro first elevated Anand Padmanabhan, head of the energy and oil gas unit, as president, and later elevated two company veterans Bhanumurthy B.M. and G.K. Prasanna to the rank of president. Last month, the company promoted Shaji Farooq, head of the banking and financial services business, as the fourth president.

Until November this year, Wipro had managed to retain its senior executives, many of whom were appointed as heads of business units when Kurien became chief executive in 2011.

Up until a year and a half ago, Wipro’s cross-city rival, Infosys Ltd, saw a flood of senior level exits, when the company’s founder N.R. Narayana Murthy returned in 2013 to steer the company after years of underperformance. Infosys in June last year named Vishal Sikka as the first non-founder chief executive, and has managed to bring down attrition rates and also managed to retain senior management in the past 15 months.

Satishchandra Doreswamy, who was hired by Wipro chairman Azim Premji in 2011 from Tata Consultancy Services to help transform the company by putting together a team of engineers to focus on its technological platforms, left the firm in March. Last month, Ayan Mukerji, head of the media and telecom business, left the company, leaving Wipro to restructure its $1 billion business unit into three different businesses.

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