Wipro Founder Azim Premji to Retire Next Month
An era comes to an end with the stepping down of Wipro’s Executive Chairman and Managing Director - Azim Premji, who was known as much for his business acumen as his large-hearted philanthropy. 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. Also, Rishad Premji, son of Azim Premji, who is serving as the chief strategy officer and a board member will take over the executive chairman of the company and Chief Executive Officer Abidali Neemuchwala will become a managing director as well.
Azim’s role has been pivotal in guiding the company through almost five decades of diversification and growth to emerge as one of the world leaders in the information technology (IT) industry, earning him the title of India’s IT czar. Indeed he will be remembered for creating & converting a vegetable oil company into a $25 billion worth IT behemoth. But, for many, he will be more remembered for his philanthropic contributions and sharing of wealth. By transferring more than 50,000 crore to philanthropic activities, he set a huge benchmark for future generations to follow. He even became the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
“Leading Wipro from 1966 till now has been the greatest privilege of my life. It has been an extraordinary journey—growing from being a small vegetable oil company to the diverse global business that we are today,” says Azim in a letter to employees. “I have great confidence and trust in Rishad’s leadership to steer Wipro in its next phase of growth as we move forward”, he says on Rishad’s taking of the role of executive chairman.
“We thank Azim for his vision, outstanding leadership and years of extraordinary contribution towards building Wipro and the Indian IT industry,” says Ashok S Ganguly, Independent Director & Chairman, Board Governance, Nomination & Compensation Committee, Wipro. “His unflinching commitment to values makes him an exemplar of how business and ethics, can and must go together. His exceptional generosity makes him one of the greatest philanthropists of our time,” adds Ashok.
Being a perfect example of a man with simplicity, throughout his life, Azim followed a simple lifestyle, driving relatively less expensive cars like Ford Escort, Honda City, and Toyota Corolla. Even when he upgraded, he bought a second-hand Mercedes E-Class from one of his employees. Despite having built an empire of sorts, he still flies economy and takes auto-rickshaw rides.
“Wipro is an exemplar of a successful, (an) ethical and a socially responsible organization. I want to thank all of you as well as all my colleagues from the past for their contribution and dedication,” concludes Azim.
Read more news: