Home >Companies >News >Dell hires Wipro veteran Anand Sankaran

Bangalore: Personal computer maker Dell Inc., which went private last month, on Thursday named former Wipro Ltd veteran Anand Sankaran as president and global head of its infrastructure services and cloud computing business.

Sankaran’s appointment will be effective from 4 November and he will be based in Bangalore, Dell said. Sankaran will report to Dell Services head Suresh Vaswani and succeeds Kevin Jones, who is now chief customer and sales officer at Dell Services.

In his new role, Sankaran will oversee a global team of 10,000 employees and be responsible for the company’s managed services, infrastructure services and cloud computing consulting businesses, Dell said.

“We are investing a lot into our services business and as part of that we are attracting a lot of best-of-breed talent from all over. We’re hiring a lot of high-end talent globally and I can assure you that not all the high-end talent we are getting is from Wipro," said Vaswani, when asked about Dell’s recent trend of poaching Wipro executives.

Vaswani said Dell would follow standard clauses of non-compete agreements between the two companies, following Sankaran’s appointment.

In 2011, Dell hired IT veteran Wipro co-chief executive officer Vaswani, after he left Wipro when the company ditched its joint-CEO model and put T.K. Kurien in charge to lead a turnaround in its fortunes.

Since he left Wipro, Vaswani has poached a number of top executives from his former company, such as business process outsourcing head Ashutosh Vaidya, North America sales head Sid Nair, US infrastructure head Sameer Kishore and Raman Sapra, who now heads strategy and business innovation services at Dell.

The Round Rock, Texas-based firm, whose founder and chief executive Michael Dell took it private in September despite months of opposition from dissenting investors, is trying to further strengthen its outsourcing business.

“Anand is a proven leader and joins a strong Services team that will accelerate our momentum," Michael Dell said in a statement.

The move is expected to shore up Dell’s offerings in the computer infrastructure management services space, which is dominated by rivals such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and HCL Technologies Ltd.

Sankaran, who spent 24 years at Wipro, had helped the software exporter grow its business in India to 7,000 crore and last year was appointed head of the merged business that included infrastructure management.

Vaswani, current Dell Services president, was hired to help build up the company’s strength in the lucrative software and outsourcing arena that has been dominated by larger rivals such as International Business Machines Corp., Accenture Plc and TCS over the last decade. Vaswani reports directly to Michael Dell.

Dell’s services business currently contributes a little over a fifth of overall sales. In the three months ended 2 August, revenue from the services business was flat at $3.2 billion, a sign that the company is still struggling to compete against traditional multinational and Indian outsourcing rivals.

In September this year, the company’s founder Michael Dell finally won shareholder approval to take the company he founded in his college room private, ending a seven-month stalemate between the buyout group and disgruntled shareholders led by activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

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