After a search of a couple of months, Bengaluru-based IT services firm Wipro hires Thierry Delaporte, who was chief operating officer of Capgemini group, will take over on 6 July, replacing Abidali Z. Neemuchwala at India’s fourth-largest software giant. This lead to a conclusion that two top executives in two big companies in the Indian IT sector are now foreigners.

Delaporte will be based in Paris and will report to chairman

Delaporte will be based in Paris and will report to chairman Rishad Premji, who said he is “the right person to lead Wipro in its next phase of growth”.

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.”

Delaporte’s appointment is seen as a historic move as he is likely the first non-Indian to be put at the position of CEO of any large Indian IT services firm.

“This is refreshing news,” said Arup Roy, research vice-president, Gartner. He said the appointment will help Wipro in “gene jumping”, which will strengthen the company with fresh ideas and practices.

“His appointment is a huge testimony to Wipro’s openness to accept outside talent. It also reflects upon the IT services industry as a whole,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, CEO and chief analyst, Greyhound Research.

Thierry 25 years of his career at Capgemini

Delaporte has spent almost 25 years of his career at Capgemini rising through the ranks and having worked in various roles across different geographies. Industry observers have been saying that Wipro has been lucky to get him on board given the 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 changing times. Delaporte has been COO of Capgemini for some time and has the requisite experience.”

“Capgemini as an organization has expertise in newer practices and, therefore, Delaporte’s experience could help Wipro in its next phase of growth. Also, the fact that he is from Europe could help Wipro build its global presence as the next wave of growth is coming from the European markets, driven by GDPR, Brexit, etc.,” Gogia said.

“We do not have visibility into the extent to which it will disrupt our operations, and we have decided to not provide revenue guidance for the quarter ending 30 June,” the company said in its Q4 earnings statement.

Thierry Delaporte joins at a time when Wipro is already in undeniable pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has added uncertainties to the company’s mission. Business analyst are saying it is a big move of Wipro to internationalize its outlook. According to them Thierry Delaporte is a businessman with vast experience of the global market, has a big name in Europe which could be beneficial for homegrown company Wipro. 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.

Thierry has made 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 position in India.

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