Rajesh Gopinathan Quits As TCS CEO, K Krithivasan Named Successor

Rajesh Gopinathan had taken the helm of Tata Consultancy Services in February 2017.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Rajesh Gopinathan and&nbsp;K Krithivasan (Photos: BQ Prime/Company)</p></div>
Rajesh Gopinathan and K Krithivasan (Photos: BQ Prime/Company)

Rajesh Gopinathan, the chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., has resigned in a surprise move that'll become effective in September.

"We wish to inform you that Mr. Rajesh Gopinathan has tendered his resignation, which will be effective from the close of business hours on Sept. 15, 2023," TCS said in an exchange filing on Thursday.

He will stay on till then to ensure a smooth transition at the helm.

Krithi Krithivasan, president and global head of TCS’s BFSI vertical, has been appointed as the CEO designate effective March 16. He will go through a transition with Gopinathan and then take over in the next financial year.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>K Krithivasan, president and global head of TCS'&nbsp; (Photo: TCS Europe/ Twitter)</p></div>

K Krithivasan, president and global head of TCS'  (Photo: TCS Europe/ Twitter)

Gopinathan, 52, had taken the helm of India’s largest IT services firm in  February 2017 after his predecessor, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, was elevated as chairman of the group parent Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd.

“I've had the pleasure of working with Rajesh for the past 25 years. During this period, Rajesh has always distinguished himself with exemplary performance in various roles, including his former role as the CFO,” Chandrasekaran said in a statement. "Over the last six years, Rajesh has provided strong leadership as the MD and CEO and has laid the foundation for the next phase of TCS’ growth…”

“I am deeply appreciative of Rajesh’s enormous contribution to TCS. I wish him the very best for the future.”

Gopinathan’s decision to quit comes at a time Indian IT firms are bracing for a slowdown in the global economy, which could curtail technology spends as the pandemic-driven tech services boom cools.

Under Gopinathan’s leadership TCS revamped its organisational structure with specialised groups targeted to help startups as well as large global firms, eyeing revenues of up to $50 billion before 2030. TCS generated sales of $25.7 billion in the year through March 2022.

A graduate of NIT Tiruchirappalli and IIM Ahmedabad, Gopinathan has been a TCS lifer. He joined Tata Strategic Management Group in April 1996 before joining India’s IT bellwether in 2001. Since then, he has served in various roles, including as CFO from 2013 to 2017 and then the CEO. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my exciting 22-year tenure at TCS. It has been a pleasure working closely with Chandra, who has mentored me through this entire period,” Gopinathan said in the statement. “The last six years of leading this iconic organisation have been most enriching and fulfilling, adding over $10 billion in incremental revenue and over $70 billion increase in market capitalisation.”

“I have been harbouring a few ideas on what I want to do in the next phase of my life. After deep reflection and in discussion with the chairman and the board, we decided that the end of this fiscal year is a good time for me to step aside and pursue those interests.”

After Infosys, TCS And HCL Technologies See Changes At The Top

The Successor 

Krithivasan joined India’s IT bellwether in 1989, right after completing his MTech from IIT Kanpur. Over a span of nearly 34 years, he has held several leadership roles in delivery and customer relationship management to rise to the rank of president and global head of TCS’ BFSI vertical.

“Having worked with Krithi over the last two decades, I’m confident that he is best positioned to take TCS to greater heights along with the leadership team,” Gopinathan said of his heir apparent. “I will be working closely with Krithi to give him all the support that he needs.”

Top-Level Churn

Gopinathan is the fourth high-profile exit from a top-tier software services firm in the last six months. All of them had served in their respective companies for at least two decades each.

  • In October 2022, Infosys President Ravi Kumar S resigned. He later joined Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. as CEO.

  • On March 11, 2023, his successor Mohit Joshi resigned to join Tech Mahindra as CEO. He will take over from CP Gurnani, who retires at the end of this year.

  • On March 16, HCL Technologies Ltd.’s Corporate Vice President Sukamal Banerjee resigned to join ChrysCapital’s Xorian as CEO. 

On Thursday, shares of Tata Consultancy Services fell 0.44% to Rs 3,184.75 apiece on the BSE, even as the benchmark Sensex ended the day 0.14% higher at 57,634.84 points.