In a major management shake-up, IT giant Cognizant has announced the appointment of Vodafone executive Brian Humphries as its new CEO. The move comes after Francisco D'Souza, the co-founder of the company, stepped down as the CEO, a post he held since 2007.
This is the first time Cognizant has picked an outsider to head the company and Humphries will take over on April 1, 2019. D'Souza will serve as a full time executive vice chairman until June 30, after which he will be a part of the board as a vice chairman.
Cognizant also said that its President Rajeev Mehta will step down on April 1 and serve as an adviser to Humphries until May 1, 2019.
Speaking of his decision to step down as the CEO, D'Souza said that he felt that the time was right and Humphries would take the company to the right direction. "While I have enjoyed serving as CEO, I believe this is the right time for me to step aside and for the company to name a new leader to build on the strong foundations we've created and take Cognizant into the future," D'Souza said in a statement.
"I know Brian will help Cognizant deliver on its commitments to our clients and continue to build value for our shareholders."
D'Souza also spoke to the Economic Times and said that he would concentrate on ensuring a smooth transition in the next few months. The co-founder of Cognizant also explained that his priority was to make sure that shareholders, clients and stakeholders were happy with the company. "And then through the transition process, I want to do whatever I can to make sure Brian is successful," he added.
When asked what he planned to do in the future and if it would still include something to do with technology, D'Souza said that his life has revolved around technology all these years and that it was hard to imagine technology not being a part of him.
"I have spent my entire life in technology, even before my professional life, in my student life it was all about technology. It would be hard for me to imagine myself doing something that is not related to technology," he told ET.
Meanwhile, Humphries, who is currently the CEO of Vodafone Business, has previously worked with Dell as President and Chief Operating Officer of its Infrastructure Solutions Group. He has also held the position of President of Dell's Global Enterprise Solutions and was also the Vice President and General Manager, EMEA Enterprise Solutions.
He has also worked with Hewlett-Packard and Compaq.
Cognizant's Board chairman Michael Patsalos-Fox welcomed Humphries to the company and said that with his vast experience and knowledge, the new CEO was the "right executive to lead Cognizant."
With a strong track record of success across different companies, cultures and roles, Brian is the right executive to lead Cognizant and build on its 25 years of growth, success and innovation," said Patsalos-Fox said in a statement. "Brian is a broadly experienced technology executive with a proven track record of driving enterprise-wide transformation through focused execution, often in challenging and highly competitive market segments."
Cognizant's December quarter revenues were recorded at $4.13 billion, about 8 percent higher that the figures in the same quarter in 2017. Its 2018 revenue was pegged at $16.13 billion.