Home / Companies / News /  Cognizant starts scouting for new India head

Bengaluru: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp is scouting for a new chairman and managing director (CMD) for India to replace Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, who resigned last week after spending 23 years in the company.

“The new managing director will serve as the executive committee (EC) representative of our 200,000 associates in India and work with relevant Indian government agencies, chambers of commerce, universities, the media, and key policy-making bodies, including Nasscom," Brian Humphries, chief executive, Cognizant, said in an internal email.

Ramamoorthy, who will leave Cognizant on Friday, reported to the executive committee comprising senior leaders, including Humphries, chief financial officer Karen McLoughlin, chief people officer Rebecca Schmitt, and chief operating officer Srinivasan Veeraraghavachary.

Humphries did not specify a timeline but said the search for a new CMD is expected to be completed in the coming months.

A Cognizant spokesperson said it is not clear yet whether the position will be filled by an external candidate or someone from within the company.

People familiar with the matter, however, said it is likely the company will evaluate external candidates who are strong on corporate governance and have good understanding of the India business and emerging technologies.

Humphries has been betting on four key digital areas -- cloud, digital engineering, data, and internet of things (IoT) -- ever since he joined the company in April 2019, to bring Cognizant back on the growth path.

Cognizant’s digital business grew 19% y-o-y in the March quarter, accounting for 41% of revenue during the period.

The company has seen a series of senior-level exits in the recent past.

Pradeep Shilige also resigned as global delivery head after a 24-year stint. Andy Stafford has been hired as the new global head of delivery with immediate effect, though Shilige will be with the company till 30 September to ensure smooth transition.

“I have asked Andy to take a fresh look at our delivery organization and refine our operating model to achieve world-class effectiveness," Humphries wrote in a separate email to the employees.

Several other senior vice presidents and vice-presidents have also resigned in recent years. They include Jaideep Poondir, Rajesh Balaji, Vinayambika Kidiyur, Archana Ramanakumar, and Vikash Gaur.

The reason for the exits is not known, but industry insiders believe it could be a conscious strategy to refresh the top-heavy structure of the company and make it more nimble and efficient.

Cognizant aims to improve its delivery function as client expectations continue to rise and evolve, Humphries said. “Core to our execution and, therefore, our success, is defining a next-generation delivery engine that blends innovation with automation and efficiency, and provides the highest levels of productivity and resilience," he said.

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