One of the country’s most respected and well-known entrepreneurs, Wipro founder Azim Premji, has announced that he will retire from the posts of executive chairman and managing director of the organization by the end of July. In a filing with the BSE, Wipro stated that Mr. Premji will be stepping down from his active role as the executive chairman of Wipro when his present term ends on July, 30th, 2019. The filing also stated that he will continue as non-executive chairman and founder chairman on the board. He will also continue as the chairman of Wipro Enterprises Limited along with chairing the Wipro-GE Healthcare board.
Azim Premji’s succession plan will have a two-fold plan, with current CEO and executive director Abidali Z. Neemuchwala to be designated as CEO and Managing Director. Rishad Premji, Azim Premji’s son, has will be handed the responsibilities of Wipro’s executive chairman. The proposed changes to the organizational structure will be put into effect after 30 July 2019, based on the shareholders’ approval.
In an official statement, Azim Premji said, “It has been a long and satisfying journey for me. As I look into the future, I plan to devote more time to focus on our philanthropic activities. I have great confidence and trust in Rishad’s leadership to steer Wipro in its next phase of growth as we move forward”.
Azim Premji is known as much for his philanthropic causes and the change he has brought to the Indian society, as he is for turning a hydrogenated cooking fat company into a global IT force worth $ 8.5 billion. In March this year, Premji committed more than ₹ 50,000 crores to charity.
Speaking about this move, independent director at Wipro, Ashok S. Ganguly, expressed confidence in Rishad’s leadership, saying “Rishad’s understanding of the global technology industry, strong strategic orientation and diverse leadership experience make him the right person to guide Wipro. He is also best positioned to represent the interests and fundamental social purpose of the largest shareholder of Wipro”.
With such confidence being expressed by the people in the know, shareholders will be positive about the two-pronged leadership structure of the company going forward.