On March 16, 2023, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) announced that Rajesh Gopinathan would step down from his position as MD and CEO of the company, effective immediately. Gopinathan has served as CEO since 2017, succeeding N Chandrasekaran, who was elevated to the chairman’s position at Tata Sons. TCS has named K Krithivasan(TCS New CEO), currently the president and global head of the BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance) business group, as Gopinathan’s successor.
Krithivasan was widely seen as a front-runner for the CEO role, with Kotak Institutional Equities noting that he was a regular contributor to the strategic direction of the company. Krithivasan is a TCS veteran, having worked at the company for over 34 years. During this time, he has held various leadership roles in delivery, customer relationship management, large program management, and sales. He is also a member of the board of directors of TCS Iberoamerica, TCS Ireland, and the supervisory board of TCS Technology Solutions AG.
TCS is a well-oiled machine with a long history of seamless transitions at all management levels. Most of its leadership positions have been held by TCS veterans who have risen through the ranks. BFSI is the largest segment within TCS, contributing over 30% of revenue in Q3FY23, making Krithivasan the natural/perfect choice for the role, according to Nuvama Institutional Equities.
Krithivasan is 58 years old and will be CEO for the next 6-7 years only, unlike previous transitions where incoming CEOs had a long runway in front of them till retirement at 65 years. “While this limits the flexibility for him, we expect TCS to continue to benefit from the recent changes in its operating model (in 2022) as well as significant recent intake of freshers in the system,” according to Motilal Oswal Securities.
During a press conference on March 17, Krithivasan said that the macroeconomic difficulty in India might remain for a quarter or two, but growth will come back. He added that there is “more need” for digital transformation now. “Maybe for a quarter or two, this disturbance will remain but growth has to come back, our customers have to transform and leverage all the digital technologies available with them,” he said while addressing the media online, along with the outgoing CEO Rajesh Gopinathan.
Gopinathan also said he would be available to Krithivasan “100 percent” during the transition period and ensure a “smooth transition.” He added that they owe it to the shareholders. “Will ensure that there is a smooth transition,” Krithivasan said.
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