K Krithivasan, CEO-designate of the country’s largest software services firm TCS, said on Friday that the company does not have the culture to make radical strategic changes when a new chief comes in and is confident of doubling down on customer delivery.
The $25 billion software giant said in a surprise statement Thursday that its CEO of more than six years, Rajesh Gopinathan, has decided to step down effective Sept. 15, more than four years into his second five-year term. The IT specialist also said. Krithivasan, president of its BSFI vertical, in which he owns 31.5 percent, will be appointed CEO of the company with immediate effect.
Rajesh Gopinathan, 52, said this was his first resignation and he had not written a resume since his campus days as he joined Tata Industries from campus 27 years ago and TCS 22 years ago. He did not reveal his plans after September 15.
The sudden departure of Rajesh Gopinathan did not affect the TCS counter much.
On the BSE, the scrip opened at Rs 3,151 after closing at Rs 3,184.75 on Thursday. After touching an intraday high of Rs 3,194, the stock closed down 0.62 percent at Rs 3,165.
The market price of TCS, a major component of the Sensex, stood at Rs 11,58,419.07 on the BSE.
The company was down 0.47 percent at Rs 3,169.90 on the NSE. It opened at Rs 3,150.50 after ending the day at Rs 3,185 on Thursday.
“Our core principle has been and will continue to work for and with our clients and that will continue to be the case with me. I don’t expect any major strategic changes by me or you (the media),” Krithivasan, 58, told reporters via video conference on Friday. Outgoing CEO Rajesh Gopinathan also participated in the video conference.
“Actually, TCS does not have a culture of radical strategic change when a new CEO comes in. We will continue as before – focus on customers. But of course there will be changes because the markets demand us. Our One Team culture remains the focus.” – he said.
“It’s a continuum, we’re not going to change strategically when a new CEO comes in. But we’re going to change based on what our customers want and how the market is changing. We’re not going to make any short-cut changes, but we’re going to continue to follow our core focus of being with our customers,” he explained.
“I hope we can halve the deliveries,” he said.
Rajesh Gopinathan says his 22 years at TCS have been “fantastic”.
“I feel very relieved now that I have decided to move on, which was taken after much discussion with my family and team chairman and my mentor N Chandrasekaran.
“For the last six years, I have led the TCS team with excitement. I have enjoyed every day spent with the company. But today I have mixed feelings. Yes, I am also a little sad because the truth has sunk in and at the same time I am also feeling very relieved now” , – he added.
In his six years, he added more than $10 billion to the company’s incremental revenue and more than $70 billion to its market capitalization. In the first nine months of this fiscal year, it posted a revenue growth of 14.8% in constant currency terms, the best in the industry.
Rajesh Gopinathan on the timing of his resignation: “Given what we’ve been through in recent years, we’re at the most stable stage. Of course there are some ups and downs. It was important for me to announce the decision before the start of the new financial year.” refused to reveal other plans.
“I feel so happy and relieved now, it’s completely freeing now, but a week ago it was eating me up. Also, it’s better to leave when things are good, not when everyone’s trying to get me out.” he said.
“Now is the logical time. I have been meeting Chandra again and again and telling him that I want to move on. Now is the right time to pull the trigger. Yes, TCS has identified who I am. Never thought. And I am sure that my contribution to TCS will be long lasting. The last In 22 years, I have never thought of anything other than TCS,” Rajesh Gopinathan said emotionally.
The priority now, he said, “is that Kriti steps up smoothly and I will be 100 per cent available for her.”
On the challenges of the transition, Krithivasan, who has been with the company for the past 37 years, said on a lighter note that the move from Chennai would be more difficult than the CEO’s job.
“The transition is not rocket science because we have a stable team and we have worked together for many years. The main thing is that I know certain business verticals well and the rest I will learn from Rajesh,” he said, “but we owe it to him. our customers and stakeholders are our success, and that will be my main focus – doubling down on our deliverables.” K Krithivasan said he is confident of success “because we have been blessed with a team culture. We have many leaders to replace me in the BSFI vertical and we do not expect any drastic changes in the near future. Our core position has been working customers and that will continue.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published on a syndicated channel.)