Wipro Founder Chairman and Managing Director Azim H. Premji, 73, will retire on July 30 and his son and the company’s Chief Strategy Officer Rishad Premji will succeed him on July 31 as the Executive Chairman, the global software major said here on Thursday.
“Founder Azim Premji will retire as the Executive Chairman upon completion of his term on July 30 and his eldest son Rishad will take over from him as the company’s top executive on July 31,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s Chief Executive (Outsourcing) Abidali Z. Neemuchwala will, however, succeed billionaire Premji as the Managing Director from July 31 till the end of his current term, in addition to being Chief Executive Officer.
With a $21.5 billion net worth, the Indian IT czar (Premji) will be the $8.5 billion company’s non-Executive Director for five years, from July 31, 2019 to July 30, 2024.
The appointments and re-designations were made at a meeting of the company’s board of directors. “The board has also conferred Premji with the title of the Founder Chairman of the company,” said the statement.
As one of the pioneers of the Indian IT industry, Premji spearheaded Wipro for 53 years on his return from the US-based Standford University in 1966 at the age of 21 years after the death of his father Muhammed Hashim Premji, who founded Wester India Vegetable Products (Wipro) in 1945 to produce cooking or edible oils at Amalner in eastern Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district, about 410 km from Mumbai.
Rishad, 41, will also continue to be the company’s whole-time director for the next five years, from July 31 2019 to July 30, 2024.
Neemuchwala has no relationship with any of the board directors and is not related to Premjis.