Azim Premji announces retirement after 53 years of leadership
Azim Premji Hands Over the Reins of Wipro to Rishad Premji
From a small, family-owned vanaspati manufacturing company to a global IT powerhouse worth $8.5 billion - the growth of Wipro has been spectacular and mammoth. Azim Premji spearheaded this company from the tender age of 21 - when he had to step in lead it following the death of his father.
Since then, he has turned his company into a household name, and a career aspiration for all engineering graduates in India. Azim Premji however, is most famous now for his philanthropic efforts, particularly since 2013, when he pledged to dedicate half his wealth to improving education in India.
Awarded not only the Padma Bhushan in 2005, and then the Padma Vibhushan in 2011, he was granted the title of Most Generous Indian in 2015. With a net worth of $21.5 billion, he is the second richest person in India - and one of the most intriguing.
It is no surprise then, that today, as he announced his retirement from his position as Executive Chairman and Managing Director of Wipro Limited, India took special notice. Along with the surprise at his announcement, there is renewed interest in Rishad Premji, currently the chief strategy officer and a board member at Wipro, as Azim Premji stated that Rishad will be taking over his position. “It has been a long and satisfying journey for me. As I look into the future, I plan to devote more time to focus on our philanthropic activities. I have great confidence and trust in Rishad's leadership to steer Wipro in its next phase of growth as we move forward," he added.
Interestingly, Wipro Limited’s share price dropped today by 0.77% after Azim Premji’s announcement. That being said, faith in Rishad’s ability to steer the organisation remains strong in all quarters. Premji also named chief executive officer Abidali Z Neemuchwala as Wipro’s new managing director. With his retirement on July 30, Azim Premji would have completed a tenure of 53 years at the helm of his company.