IT major Wipro on Friday announced that it has appointed Thierry Delaporte as chief executive officer and managing director. He will take charge on July 6. Incumbent Abidali Neemuchwala will relinquish charge on June 1 after four years; the Texas-based executive had announced his decision to step down in February, citing family commitments. Chairman Rishad Premji “will oversee the day to day operations of the company until July 5”, a company statement said. The markets reacted to the news positively, with the Wipro scrip ending 6.65% higher over the previous day’s close.
Delaporte, who speaks French, English, and Spanish—according to his LinkedIn profile—was until recently group chief operating officer at Capgemini and a member of its group executive board. He joined Capgemini as an internal auditor in 1995, in Paris, has held several leadership roles in his 25-year stint, including that of CEO of the company’s global financial services strategic business unit, and head of all global service lines. He also oversaw Capgemini’s India operations, and led the group’s transformation agenda, conceptualising and driving several strategic programs across various business units, the statement said. In his various roles at Capgemini, Delaporte has been based in many cities around the world—Paris, Zurich, Singapore, Sydney, Madrid, and New York. He is possibly the first executive with no ties to India to helm a large Indian IT services firm, reports say.
“Thierry has an exceptional leadership track record, strong international exposure, deep strategic expertise, a unique ability to forge long-standing client relationships, and proven experience of driving transformation and managing technological disruption. We believe that Thierry is the right person to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth,” the statement quoted Premji as saying. The Wipro chairman also thanked Neemuchwala “for all that he has done for Wipro and for making this transition as smooth and seamless as possible despite his personal commitments”.
Delaporte, who—according to his LinkedIn profile—started his career with Arthur Andersen as an external auditor in 1992 after a bachelors’ degree in economy and finance from the Paris-based Sciences Po and a Masters’ in Law from Sorbonne University. He is also the co-founder and president of the not-for-profit organisation Life Project 4 Youth, which aims to integrate—both professionally and socially—young, excluded adults living in extreme poverty.
“I am deeply honoured to be invited to lead Wipro, an extraordinary company and an exemplary corporate citizen with a deep technology heritage built on a strong foundation of values. 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,” said Delaporte.
Paris-based Delaporte—who will report to Premji—is described as one whose functioning style is of “open collaboration, firm accountability and transparency”, according to a recommendation on his LinkedIn profile. It adds: “His commitment is to success and [he] operates his team in that style and holds his colleagues accountable to the same standard.”
Former HDFC Standard Life CEO Satwalekar to join Board
The Bengaluru-headquartered information technology, consulting and business process services firm also announced the appointment of veteran financial services professional Deepak M. Satwalekar to its Board of Directors for five years effective July 1, 2020, subject to the approval of the shareholders.
Satwalekar, who will join as an independent director, has spent four decades in the financial services sector, with stints such as managing director of HDFC Ltd. and MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance. He has also been a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
“With his deep repository of knowledge spanning across the financial services sector, sharp business acumen, understanding of technology and as a strong votary of the highest standards of corporate governance, his invaluable experience will immensely benefit Wipro,” a release quoted Premji as saving.
Satwalekar is a recipient of the ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay and is currently the chairman, Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Indore.