O’Connor steps down as CEO, executive director of Persistent Systems

O’Connor steps down as CEO, executive director of Persistent Systems
10 Aug, 2020

Christopher O’Connor, who was appointed as the executive director and CEO of Pune based information technology (IT) services firm Persistent Systems 18 months ago, has resigned from the company, citing personal reasons. 

“Over the past year-and-a-half, we have done significant work to strengthen our operational and offering capabilities to better serve a rapidly expanding client base,” O’Connor, who handed in his resignation letter on August 9, said.

“At a personal level, I’ve held multiple interests beyond technology, and the pandemic, with its constraints on travel contributing to improved personal health, has given me ample time to appreciate those life’s blessings,” he said.

Persistent Systems did not provide details on O’Connor’s replacement.  

Previously the general manager and senior executive leader of IoT at IBM, O’Connor was hired by the BSE listed firm in February 2019 to lead the company for three quarters. He took over the position from founder, chairman and managing director Anand Deshpande.

The IBM veteran put in place new strategies for the company’s growth and rejigged the senior management. A month after his appointment, Persistent Systems saw several top level exits, including those of chief product officer Nara Rajagopalan and president of technology services Sudhir Kulkarni.

The company, in February, said that hiring O’Connor would help the company transition from a single founder-promoter-run entity to a professionally run firm.

“It’s with excitement that I look forward to those endeavors on the back of Persistent’s best quarter ever,” O’Connor said at the time. 

For the quarter ended June 2020, the company reported a 19.1% year-on-year increase in revenue to Rs 991.3 crore, while its profits went up 9.1% to Rs 90 crore.

“He helped build certain capabilities and improved positioning to tap opportunities, which helped us achieve a good quarter under difficult circumstances. On behalf of the board and the company, I wish Chris all the best in his future endeavors,” founder Deshpande said.

O’Connor, who conceptualized and led the IBM Smart Cities software and services business lines, has also worked in the areas of systems management, commerce and financial software, and software research and development.