Inside Wipro’s new CEO appointment: How IT firm got lucky with Thierry Delaporte

Bengaluru-based IT services firm Wipro, which was on the lookout for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the last couple of months, has announced  the appointment of former Capgemini top executive Thierry Delaporte as its CEO & MD, with effect from July 6. The first non-Indian CEO of the company, Delaporte will be based out of Paris.

Delaporte has spent most of his career (nearly 25 years) at Capgemini rising through the ranks and having worked in various roles across different geographies. Industry observers say that Wipro has been ‘sheer lucky’ to get him onboard given the tepid performance of the company for over last three-four years. Ronesh Puri, Managing Director, Executive Access said, “Wipro has been quite an insular company in terms of its thought process and this is a reflection of changed times. Delaporte has been COO of Capgemini for some time and has the requisite experience.”

In the statement released by the company, Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited said, “Thierry has an exceptional leadership track record, strong international exposure, deep strategic expertise, a unique ability to forge long-standing client relationships, and proven experience of driving transformation and managing technological disruption. We believe that Thierry is the right person to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth.”

An industry veteran in the executive search industry who was aware of the search, but did not wish to be named said, “It is a bold move by Wipro  to internationalise its outlook at this juncture and Delaporte is a great choice who has absorbed the Indian work culture and knows his business.” According to him even though the company had approached and considered Omar Abbosh, former Accenture executive for the role in early January, after meeting with Premji, Thierry turned out to be a perfect fit given he was being considered as a strong candidate to fill in the shoes of Paul Hermelinas as the next CEO before Capgemini announced some structural changes in September 2019.  The company last year separated the role of CEO and Chairman and Aiman Ezzat was announced to take over as the next CEO.

According to industry sources, Delaporte is a savvy person with vast global experience who understands sales and has a great handle on the client side. Currently based in Europe, he has worked for nearly 15 years in Newyork including his stint as the CEO of Financial services business unit of Capgemini where he grew it into a profitable, high margin business. Nearly a quarter of Capgemini’s revenue comes from financial services. A regular at Nasscom’s annual leadership summit for the past few years, sources say that he visited India almost every quarter. Thierry was instrumental in one of Capgemini’s biggest acquisitions and mergers — $4 billion iGate deal of 2015 — and also played a critical role in the earlier acquisition of Kanbay in 2007 which helped the company strengthen its footprint in India.

Source: Business Today

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