It is the end of an era as Azim Premji retires from his 53 years of leadership at Wipro Limited on Tuesday. In the previous month, the company's board had announced the approval of the appointment of Rishad Premji as the executive chairman of the company with effect on 31 July 2019. Abidali Z Neemuchwala, the current CEO (chief operating officer) at Wipro will take the responsibilities of MD (Managing Director) as well, starting Wednesday.
Azim Premji will now serve as the Non-Executive Chairman for the IT major for a period of 5 years-31 July 2019 to 30 July 2024.
Rishad Premji had joined Wipro in 2007 after having worked with Bain & Company in London and GE Capital in the US. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and has been a member of Wipro's Board since May 2015.
He is also a member of the Strategy Committee and Administrative and Shareholders/Investors Grievance Committee of the company. Rishad Premji served as the Chairman of NASSCOM for the financial year 2018-19. He is also been on the boards of the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative.
He was recognized as a 'Young Global Leader' by the World Economic Forum in 2014 for his outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, and commitment to the society.
Azim Premji leaves a legacy
Wipro Ltd is one of the leading IT, consultancy and business process services company in India because of Azim Premji's vision and leadership.
At the age of 21, Azim Premji had to take over his deceased father's company- "Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited," (later abbreviated to Wipro). He has just graduated in electrical engineering from Stanford University and saw potential in the IT and computing sector in the 1970s-80s.
Over the years, the company produced toilet soaps, industrial cylinders, personal computers, fluorescent lamps and more. He made a focused shift from consumer products to computer software.
In 2005, he received a Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce. In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India, the second highest civilian honour in the country.