In a surprising move, Rajesh Gopinathan, MD and CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), announced his resignation a year into his second five-year term. As news of Gopinathan’s exit caught many investors and analysts off guard, brokerages including Morgan Stanley and Citi labeled the move as unexpected. However, Gopinathan insisted that his decision to step down was not a result of any dissonance with the leadership of the company’s board.
On the timing of his exit, Gopinathan stated that he had been having discussions with TCS Chairman N Chandrasekaran about moving on, and firmed up his decision a week ago. Gopinathan had taken over the reins from Chandrasekaran in February 2017, when the latter was elevated to the Chairman’s position. As part of his employment contract with TCS, Gopinathan is required to give a six-month notice, which means that his period ends on September 15. Shortly thereafter, his successor, K Krithivasan, will assume the CEO’s role.
Krithivasan claimed that he will work with Gopinathan over the next few months to understand all parts of the business, but he does not intend to make any significant changes to TCS’s existing strategy. Krithivasan, who will be one of the oldest CEOs to take charge at the helm of the company, cited the importance of continuity of the business, stating that every CEO builds on the progress made by his predecessor.
Gopinathan’s abrupt exit has raised some concerns among industry insiders, as he has been instrumental in leading TCS to record highs, expanding its reach and maintaining its reputation as one of India’s most trusted brands. However, Gopinathan has expressed that he feels liberated by his decision and that he is looking forward to exploring new opportunities and growth prospects. As Gopinathan steps down, the industry is eagerly awaiting the roadmap charted by Krithivasan for TCS’s continued success.