Azim Premji 'The Czar of the Indian IT Industry' has announced retirement

Andrew Cummings
June 11, 2019

The retirement will take effect from July 30, however, he will remain on the board as a non-executive director and founder, chairman, Wipro said in a BSE filing. His son and the company's Chief Strategy Officer Rishad Premji will succeed him on July 31 as the Executive Chairman.

Simultaneously, Wipro announced that chief executive Abidali Neemuchwala will also be the managing director of the company, thereby separating the positions of chairman and managing director as required by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

With Abidali Neemuchwala taking over as the Managing Director of Wipro, he said that Abidali and Rishad will make an excellent leadership team.

As one of the pioneers of the multi-billion dollar Indian IT industry, Premji spearheaded Wipro for 53 years on return from the US-based Stanford University in 1966 at the age of 21 years after the death of his father Muhammed Hashim Premji, who founded Western India Vegetable Products (Wipro) in 1945 to produce edible oils at Amalner in Maharashtra's Jalgaon district, about 410 km northeast of Mumbai.

Azim Premji said: "It has been a long and satisfying journey for me".


"Premji's contribution and achievements go beyond the success of our company".

In March, Premji pledged about 34 percent of Wipro shares controlled by him to philanthropic activities through his foundation, Bloomberg reported.

With $21.5 billion net worth, Premji will be the $8.5 billion firm's non-Executive Director for five years, from July 31, 2019 to July 30, 2024.

Shares in Wipro fell by nearly a percent on Thursday.

Azim Premji is credited with founding a small hydrogenated cooking fat company and transforming it into a $8.5 billion global IT powerhouse, which also has a presence in FMCG, Infrastructure Engineering and Medical Devices leader, with revenues of approximately $2 billion. Azim Premji said the company has been an exemplar of a successful, ethical and a socially responsible organisation.


Wipro's Chairman-designate Rishad Premji on Friday urged thousands of Wiproites to take the work of IT czar Azim Premji to newer heights.

Wipro's outgoing Chairman Azim Premji said he is confident that the future of Wipro will "far outshine anything that we have done before".

"His exceptional generosity makes him one of the greatest philanthropists of our time", he added. He is firmly rooted in the values that are the bedrock of the company - his commitment to the Spirit of Wipro is absolute.

Noting that his father demonstrated that a successful business could be built ethically and be driven by social goal, Rishad Premji called upon the techies to chart new paths and win new frontiers while consolidating the company and upholding its rich values.


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