Azim Premji, one of the pioneers of Indian technology industry and founder of Wipro Limited, will retire as executive chairman upon the completion of his current term on July 30, after having led the company for 53 years.
Wipro said on Thursday that his son Rishad Premji, chief strategy officer and member of the board, will take over as the executive chairman. Azim Premji, however, will continue to serve on the board as non-executive director and founder chairman.
The board has also announced that Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Abidali Z Neemuchwala will be re-designated as chief executive officer and managing director. These changes will be effective July 31.
Azim Premji transformed a small hydrogenated cooking fat company to an 8.5 billion dollar global IT powerhouse while also leading the transformation of Wipro Enterprises into a global FMCG, infrastructure engineering and medical devices leader, with revenues of about two billion dollars.
He will remain the chairman of Wipro Enterprises and continue to chair the board of Wipro-GE Healthcare.
"We thank Azim for his vision, outstanding leadership and years of extraordinary contribution towards building Wipro and the Indian IT industry," said Ashok Ganguly, Wipro's independent director and chairman, board governance, nomination and compensation committee.
"His unflinching commitment to values makes him an exemplar of how business and ethics, can and must go together. His exceptional generosity makes him one of the greatest philanthropists of our time," he said.
"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," said Ganguly.
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."
Chairman-designate Rashid Premji said: "I am very excited about our future and the opportunity to create value for all our stakeholders in these transformative times for Wipro and the technology industry. I look forward to their trust, collaboration, and support."
Wipro is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. It has over 1.7 lakh employees serving clients across six continents.