Home >Companies >People >Wipro appoints ex-IBM Bill Stith as healthcare head

New Delhi: Wipro Ltd has appointed former International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) executive Bill Stith to revive the fortunes of the Bengaluru-based company’s healthcare and life sciences division. Stith, who headed IBM’s healthcare and life sciences business in the US, is the third top external hire by chief executive officer Abidali Neemuchwala. His hiring is also Wipro’s third top-level management change in 2018.

Since taking over as CEO in 2016, Neemuchwala has hired Christophe Martinoli as the head of Continental Europe and Harmeet Chauhan as head of Industrial and Engineering Services business division.

Clients from the healthcare and life sciences business accounted for 14.1% or $1.13 billion of Wipro’s $8.06 billion revenue last year.

A spokesperson for Wipro confirmed the development.

“Wipro Ltd can confirm the appointment of Bill Stith as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Health strategic business unit," the spokesperson said.

Wipro’s former head of healthcare and life sciences division, Jeffrey Heenan Jalil resigned in August, prompting the company to appoint an interim head, Mohd Ehteshamul Haque.

One of the reasons behind Wipro’s under-performance over the last few years has been the company’s inability to get more business from clients in the healthcare space.

Wipro spent $460 million to buy HealthPlan Services (HPS) in February 2016, hoping it will help scale up revenue after former US President Barack Obama introduced a policy to provide affordable healthcare to uninsured Americans under Affordable Care Act law, or Obamacare.

However, Obamacare was repealed by US President Donald Trump, dashing expectations of any incremental revenue growth for companies like Wipro.

Wipro expected that its acquisition of HealthPlan Services, which reported $223 million in revenue in 2015, will shore up business from its healthcare division.

However, revenue from Wipro’s healthcare unit increased by only $40.6 million to $261.2 million at the end of September 2018 from $220.6 million in December 2015.

During this time, Wipro’s overall quarterly revenue improved 10.9% to $2.04 billion from $1.84 billion.

“Our healthcare business division has a large component of the HealthPlan Services acquisition which focused on Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, that got repealed. Because of this, we had an over $130 million of annual run rate decline. We are making investments in other areas in our healthcare business and are also in the process of appointing new leaders to turn around this business and we remain hopeful in the coming quarters, this (healthcare vertical) will start to report good growth," Neemuchwala said in an interview last month.

Wipro also appointed Sanjeev Singh as head of its state-run enterprises India business. Singh was formerly the CEO of Aegis for India and Sri Lanka.

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