Wipro CEOs quit after luke-warm results

The two CEOs of Indian IT outsourcer Wipro are both to step down, the company has revealed.

The announcement came as Wipro reported its latest set of financial figures. They suggest that the company has been less succesful in capitalising on the economic recovery than its closest rivals.

Bangalore-based Wipro’s third quarter showed that in the three-month period up to 31 December 2010, its revenues increased 19.3% year-on-year to $1.34 billion. In the comparable quarters, fellow Indian IT giants Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys reported sales rises of 31.1% and 28.7% respectively. Wipro’s net income was up 10% to $294 million.

Following the results announcement, the vendor said that co-CEOs Girish Paranjbe and Suresh Vaswani, who have steered the company for the past three years, would be leaving the company altogether. They will be replaced by TK Kurien, president of Wipro’s telecoms and consulting unit, from 1 February.

"The joint CEO structure was one of the key factors that successfully helped us navigate the worst economic crisis of our times," said Wipro chairman Azim Premji in a statement. "With the change in environment, there is a need for a simpler organisation structure."

Wipro is the third largest provider by revenue in India’s huge IT outsourcing sector, behind TCS and Infosys. During the recession of 2008-09, all three companies revenues took a battering as customers became averse to signing long-term outsourcing deals.

As the graph below shows though, both TCS and Infosys have benefited strongly from a recent spending up tick. And while its double digit revenue growth would be the envy of many IT suppliers, Wipro has failed to keep pace with its immediate competitors.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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