Mumbai: Home-grown IT company Mindtree Ltd on Friday appointed Debashis Chatterjee as its new chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD). Chatterjee, who stepped down as the president of global delivery at New Jersey-headquartered Cognizant on 31 July, has been appointed for a period of five years.
This is the first top management change at Mindtree since the company was taken over by engineering behemoth Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T).
In an exchange filing on Friday, Mindtree said it has also appointed S.N. Subrahmanyan as its non-executive vice chairman. Subrahmanyan currently serves as L&T group’s managing director and CEO.
Chatterjee, who was also Cognizant’s global leader for digital systems and technology practice, will be the first person outside Mindtree’s seven-member founding team to be appointed as the chief executive officer. He is the third person to take up the top job since the company was launched 20 years ago, and has been appointed till 1 August 2024.
The development is in line with L&T group chairman A.M. Naik’s letter to Mindtree’s employees on 18 July, following his appointment as the chairman of Mindtree. “A new CEO will join soon to lead the team into a future that will benefit all stakeholders," he had said.
Rostow Ravanan, who was part of Mindtree’s founding team, had resigned on 5 July as Mindtree’s CEO after L&T successfully completed its open offer to acquire the former despite vehement resistance from the founder-promoters.
A mechanical engineering graduate from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Chatterjee oversaw all service lines in digital systems and technology practice at Cognizant. After joining Cognizant in 1996, he held several key management positions, also serving as the executive vice president and president, technology solutions at Cognizant.
Chatterjee, according to Cognizant, was instrumental in growing the company’s banking and financial services practice, which is one of the largest verticals for the New Jersey-based company today.
In a letter dated 16 July Naik termed Mindtree as “unique". “…Over the past decade we have closely followed, with a lot of respect and admiration the organization’s (Mindtree’s) rise from an innovative startup to a digital powerhouse…I see this (the takeover of Mindtree by L&T) as the coming together of two great institutions with a shared passion for delivering extraordinary value to clients, employees, shareholders…All this spells growth. It means you are now artists with a much larger canvas before you, more avenues leading up and more opportunities to do what you do the best," he added.
“…We believe people are the prime movers and real assets of an organization….And look where L&T’s people have taken the company—deep into the oceans, and up into space," said Naik.
Mint has reviewed a copy of the letter.
Naik replaced Krishnakumar Natarajan who resigned as chairman and a board member of Mindtree on 5 July.
On 16 July, L&T became the new promoter of Mindtree after buying a 60.59% stake and inducting three nominees from L&T as directors in Mindtree.
Mindtree’s four founders Subroto Bagchi, N.S. Parthasarathy, Natarajan and Rostow Ravanan, who together hold around 13.32% stake in Mindtree and served as directors on the company’s board for two decades, quit after L&T managed to conclude its open offer on 30 June.