IT major Wipro founder Azim H Premji, who turned a small maker of vegetable oil into a USD 8.5 billion software behemoth, will retire as the company head by July-end and handover reins of the firm to his son, Rishad.
Premji, who turns 74 next month, will retire as executive chairman upon the completion of his current term on July 30, 2019, after having led the company for 53 years, Wipro said in a statement.
He, however, will continue to serve on the board as a non-executive director for five years till July 2024 and has also been conferred the title of founder chairman.
Wipro board also announced that chief executive officer and executive director Abidali Z Neemuchwala will be re-designated as CEO and managing director, while Rishad Premji will be re-appointed as whole-time director for a period of five years with effect from July 31, 2019, to July 30, 2024. Rishad will be designated as executive chairman.
These changes will be effective July 31, 2019, subject to shareholders’ approval.
A recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards, Azim Premji now plans to devote more time for philanthropic activities.He had, in March this year, gifted an additional Rs 52,750 crore of the company’s shares to support philanthropic activities, making it the most generous donation in the nation’s history.
About 34 percent of shares held by companies controlled by Premji, India’s second-richest person, were irrevocably renounced and earmarked to the Azim Premji Foundation, taking the total donations to over Rs 1.4 lakh crore.
Premji’s Foundation, which works in the education sector and supports over 150 non-profits serving under-privileged with financial grants, has 67 percent of economic ownership of Wipro.