Senior HR Managers Quit Cognizant Enmasse; Wipro, Mindtree Invites Them To Join


Needless to say, HR plays an important role in the present environment. 

It has emerged that senior-most executives at Cognizant are leaving the company in droves.

It is losing executives tasked with hiring and managing employees to competitors such as Wipro and Mindtree.

At least five Cognizant executives who were in charge of functions like human resources, global talent acquisition, talent transformation, and entry-level workforce planning strategy have been taken in by Wipro and Mindtree.

Greater Need For HR Today

While HR is perennially a critical function for people-centric businesses like IT, its value is amplified now more than ever.

This is because of the current environment in which software services providers are experiencing accelerated growth thanks to the pandemic.

There is also an ongoing war for IT talent which has led companies to ramp up their hiring efforts, also to curb attrition.

Needless to say, HR plays an important role in the present environment. 

Who Are These People?

Rajiv Menon (Director-HR) and Anand Kabra (VP-Talent transformation) are expected to join Wipro to head its global recruitment and global workforce management, respectively.

Suresh Bethavandu, erstwhile global head of talent transformation, joined Mindtree to lead its HR function.

Ashok Ranjit Rajasekaran (early career hiring leader) and Venkat Ramaseshan (AVP-Human Resources) have also joined Mindtree in senior roles in the talent and recruitment function.

Fragile Leadership

While Cognizant says that it has “strong leadership in place” in its 11 centers across India, it appears that centre heads of Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kerala have actually left.

Sources have said that these people have voluntarily quit despite being offered large sums of money from their stock options.

The motive behind their exit seems to be them not being given key roles as the company goes through a transition phase.

Another reason is that the market is heating up with competition for talent and they might be looking for greener pastures.

Why Specifically These Companies?

The reason behind choosing companies such as Mindtree and also L&T Infotech is that they are smaller in size when it comes to their valuation.

When they started out in Cognizant, it was a $1 billion entity which is now the size of Mindtree and L&T Infotech. 

By the time they left, the organisation had grown to $16.5 billion.

So it may be that they want to undertake the same journey with smaller companies and help them achieve growth that is 10-fold and 16-fold.

Wipro’s appeal possibly lies in its new CEO Thierry Delaporte after which the company quickly won deals and began aggressively pursuing good talent.

Consequences For Cognizant

Obviously, none of this bodes well for Cognizant. 

It lost out on deals because it couldn’t secure good enough talent. 

It gets even worse as the firm is going through record levels of attrition which touched 31% in April-June quarter.

Apart from seasoned HR professionals, ex-Cognizant leaders have been made CEOs in eight companies — Mindtree, Firstsource, Bristlecone (part of Mahindra & Mahindra), Collabera, Hitachi Vantara, Zensar, Qualitest, and Virtusa– in the past two years alone.

This trend leads to a multiplier effect since the leaders who have migrated bring along Cognizant employees to join them in their new ventures.

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