Cognizant Technology Solutions said its president, Raj Mehta, would leave the company after the appointment of Brian Humphries as its chief executive effective April. It also loosened the non-compete clauses binding current CEO Francisco D’Souza, a move that could smooth the way for him to exit the IT company he helped found a quarter century ago.
US-listed Cognizant, which has most of its operations based out of India, named Humphries, currently the CEO at Vodafone Business, to replace D’Souza as the chief executive. A British national,Humphries will be the first non-South-Asian to take up the mantle.
“This change of leadership comes at a good time for Cognizant. Frank and Rajeev have done an outstanding job in bringing Cognizant to the forefront of the IT services industry. However, in the last several years, they have been derailed by Eliot, the activist hedge fund, into promising a number of value-destroying things including raising margins at a time when the industry is pivoting into digital,” said Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive of Everest Group, a global IT research and advisory firm. “This has resulted in constraining their growth and handcuffing their ability to pivot.”