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Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. is strengthening its leadership team with a mix of internal promotions and external hires in an effort to return to growth. The Nasdaq-listed firm is strengthening its leadership roles with senior hires in Germany, the Nordics, Australia, and Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Last week, the New Jersey-based company appointed Rajesh Nambiar as chairman and managing director for India and member of the executive committee (EC) effective 9 November. Nambiar’s induction into the EC is seen as a measured approach to increase focus on India and give more power to the local leadership.

His predecessor Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, who left the company in July, was not part of the EC but reported to it.

“We are focused on returning Cognizant to IT services industry bellwether status. To achieve this, we need a combination of long-time Cognizant veterans along with newcomers who bring fresh perspectives to our business," Brian Humphries, chief executive officer, Cognizant, said in a recent interview.

Among other leadership changes, Ursula Morgenstern will be joining as president, global growth markets, effective January 2021, while Adrian Jones will soon join as managing director for Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Cognizant also recently appointed Anil Cheriyan as executive vice-president, strategy and technology, and Andy Stafford as the head of global delivery.

All of them are also members of the EC, directly reporting to the chief executive.

“We are making bold moves to supercharge our talent and have invested considerable time and thought over the past 18 months in building and nurturing our executive committee. The team now in place can drive a company of Cognizant’s scale and complexity to higher levels of growth," Humphries said.

As a way to retain and reward top performers, Cognizant is implementing a targeted merit-based increment and promotion structure this quarter. “We are accruing 2020 bonuses at higher levels than 2019," Humphries said.

Cognizant began this year’s campus hiring in October and nearly doubled its entry-level salary for engineers graduating in June 2021 with premium technology skills.

“The emphasis will be on hiring new talent in our digital battlegrounds as well as in other strategic areas such as cybersecurity, salesforce and business modernization technologies. That said, we will continue to enforce meritocracy and upgrade our talent," Humphries said.

Last week, Cognizant reported flat annual growth in revenues at $4.2 billion for the third quarter ended September. However, the company’s digital revenue grew 13% y-o-y and contributed 42% to total revenues for the quarter as digital bookings continued to show momentum. “We are well on our way in the journey towards 50% digital revenues," Humphries said.

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