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Premji's son Rishad is Wipro CSO

By BS Reporter
September 02, 2010 03:47 IST
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Bengaluru-headquartered Wipro has decided to elevate Chairman Azim Premji's elder son Rishad as the chief strategy officer (CSO) of its information technology (IT) business from January 1, 2011.

Thirty-three-year-old Rishad would report to the Joint CEOs of Wipro's IT business, the company said in a statement. "Rishad Premji will assume responsibilities as the CSO of the IT Business. Rishad is currently general manager – treasury & investor relations, and brings with him a diversified experience of consulting, finance, treasury and operations," said Saurabh Govil, senior vice-president, human resources, Wipro Technologies.

The company has also decided to shift K R Lakshminarayana (Lan), the current CSO, to Premji Trust as its chief endowment officer. The trust funds the philanthropic activities of Azim Premji. In his new role, Lan would be responsible for managing investments from the corpus of the trust for the Azim Premji Foundation and other affiliated entities.

In June 2007, when Rishad, an MBA from Harvard Business School, joined the company as a business manager in the Banking and Finance division, it was widely perceived that this might gradually lead to his grooming as Azim Premji's heir apparent.

The company, however, had taken shareholders' approval before appointing him, as he is a relative (son) of the chairman. The company had also made it clear that Rishad would not be entitled to any stock option (ESOP) in the company on the same ground.

Last July, he was elevated to head the Investor Relations' Department as a general manager. The new development is seen as a move to give him maximum exposure to various roles in the company, where Premji holds close to 80 per cent.

Prior to joining Wipro, Rishad, who studied at the Harvard Business School and graduated from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, worked with Bain Consulting, London. He also had a stint at GE before pursuing his MBA.

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