Capgemini veteran Thierry Delaporte will step in as CEO and managing director at Wipro, the Azim Premji-owned information technology (IT) services firm, on July 6. Delaporte, until recently COO and member of the executive board at the French IT services multinational, will replace outgoing CEO and managing director Abidali Neemuchwala.
The appointment makes Delaporte, who will continue to be based in Paris, will be the first foreign-origin CEO at a top tier Indian IT services firm.
Delaporte’s appointment brings to a close a nearly four-month hunt for a CEO to steer the $8 billion IT services firm. The search started early this year when Neemuchwala decided to step down from the job citing family commitments. He continued to remain in charge till a replacement was found and will now exit the firm on June 1. During the interim period, till July 6, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji will oversee day-t0-day operations, the company said in a statement.
Rishad Premji himself took charge as chairman in July last year when his father, Azim Premji, announced his retirement.
Incoming CEO and managing director Delaporte has served with the Paris headquartered Capgemini Group for nearly 25 years. His tenure has seen him serve as Capgemini's Latin America CEO as well as the head of its banking and financial services (BFSI) division. The BFSI sector is the most important segment for IT services firms contributing to one-third of the industry's revenue.
"We believe that Thierry is the right person to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth," Rishad Premji said in the statement.
Delaporte is not new to India having overseen Capgemini's India operations. He headed all global service lines as well as led the group's transformation agenda, conceptualising and driving several strategic programs across various business units, Wipro said.
"I look forward to working closely with Rishad, the board, senior leadership and the hugely talented employees of Wipro to turn a new chapter of growth and build a better tomorrow for all our stakeholders," Delaporte said.
Delaporte will report to Premji. He has a bachelor's degree in economy and finance from Sciences Po Paris and a masters in law from Sorbonne University, Paris.
The new CEO takes charge at a time the IT industry is facing more severe headwinds than it has in the past. The $150 billion industry is probably looking at the first-ever decline in annual revenues in its 40-year history on account of the Covid-19 crisis.
Wipro is itself going through a tough phase as the company's growth lags its peers TCS, HCL Technologies and Infosys. The firm reserved its quarterly earnings guidance for the first quarter of the current financial year even as it closed the final quarter of the financial year 2019-2020 with 4.7% year-on-year growth in gross revenues.
Meanwhile, the company also appointed veteran financial services professional Deepak M Satwalekar as an independent director of the board for five years effective from July 1, replacing former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, who recently took charge as software firm Salesforce’s India CEO. Satwalekar was earlier managing director of HDFC and HDFC Standard Life Insurance.