Francisco D’Souza. Photo: Mint
Francisco D’Souza. Photo: Mint

Cognizant appoints CEO Francisco D’Souza as vice-chairman

Since D'Souza took over as the CEO of the Teaneck, New Jersey-based IT services company in 2006, Cognizant has been consistently outperforming its peers to clock revenues of $14.81 billion in 2017, from just about $1.42 billion

Bengaluru: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. chief executive Francisco D’Souza has been given additional responsibility as the vice chairman of the company.

Since D’Souza took over as the CEO of the Teaneck, New Jersey-based IT services company in 2006, Cognizant has been consistently outperforming its peers to clock revenues of $14.81 billion in 2017, from just about $1.42 billion.

In 2010, the company had overtaken Wipro Ltd and, in the following year, beat Infosys to clock better quarterly and annual revenues.

In fact, it has been the only company in the IT outsourcing space to clock over $1 billion in incremental revenue every year since the beginning of 2010. In other words, under D’Souza, 50, Cognizant has added $13.39 billion in revenues over the last 11 years, or the combined numbers of what Wipro and Tech Mahindra Ltd could achieve.

Last year, Wipro’s revenue was at $8.06 billion and Tech Mahindra’s revenue stood at $4.77 billion. “Since he assumed the role, Cognizant has grown more than seven-fold, to a Fortune 200 company with nearly $15 billion in revenues in 2017…We all look forward to Francisco’s continued contributions to the company," said John Klein, chairman of Cognizant’s board.

“It is a great honour to be named vice-chairman of Cognizant’s board," said D’Souza.

“The appointment is in recognition of Frank’s many years of leadership in guiding Cognizant into the Fortune 200 company that it is today and the value of his continued strategic guidance to ensure sustained growth," said a spokesperson.

The company maintained that D’Souza’s elevation is not part of its succession planning, given that in September 2016, Rajeev Mehta was elevated as the president of the company.

“Executive succession planning is the responsibility of the board of directors. The board has not announced a succession plan," the spokesperson said in response to Mint’s queries.

Phil Fersht, CEO of US-based HfS Research, an outsourcing research firm, agreed: “Francisco has been an inspirational leader for Cognizant and I do not see any reason why he would move on, unless it was for a challenge that was new and refreshing, such as life sciences or healthcare firm."

“I see him and Raj (Rajeev Mehta) as a powerful combination, with Frank driving strategy and Raj seeing the execution of the business lines. They have worked closely together for many many years. I do not think Cognizant is ready to place Raj in the CEO’s seat. He is a strong execution-focused leader, and Cognizant needs to drive the next wave of inspiration to keep the firm’s momentum going. I would be surprised if Frank did not stick around to shepherd the next phase of the firm as the digital environment matures," Fersht added.

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