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Kumar Mahadeva quits as Cognizant chief

Tanmaya Kumar Nanda in New York | December 22, 2003 23:27 IST

Kumar Mahadeva, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Cognizant Technologies, announced his retirement on December 22.

Since its inception 10 years ago, Mahadeva has been at the helm of affairs, taking the company from a 50-member team to a 9000-people leader in the IT industry, specialising in IT outsourcing to India.

Laskhmi Narayanan, 50, presently the president and formerly chief operating officer, of Cognizant will take over from Mahadeva as CEO, and will also serve on the company's board of directors. However, Mahadeva will remain with the company until April 2004 to ensure a smooth transition.

"I am proud to have led Cognizant's growth to this point, and to leave Lakshmi with a strong platform for future growth," Mahadeva said in a statement. "Over the last several years, we have built a world-class management team. As a member of this team, Lakshmi has already played an integral role in the company's success, and I am confident in his ability to lead Cognizant's next phase of growth."

In other ripple effects, Francisco D'Souza, 35, and previously senior vice president of North American and European Operations and Business Development, has been promoted to COO. He will now assume responsibility for Cognizant's India-based delivery systems.

Gordon Coburn, who continues as chief financial officer, has been promoted to executive vice president while John Klein, a board member since 1998, has been appointed non-executive chairman.

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