Wipro’s Continental Europe Head Ulrich Meister Quits
Less than three months after Wipro veterans Sangita Singh and Ayan Mukerji quit amid an organisational overhaul, the software company’s Continental Europe business head Ulrich Meister has put in his papers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Continental Europe CEO Meister decided to “take a break and move out of Wipro,” newly appointed CEO Abidali Z Neemuchwala said in an internal email. ET has seen a copy of the internal email.
“Ulrich, in this short span, adapted well to our culture and has been able to grow our market, build local presence, establish partnerships and alliances and build deep advisory relationships,” Neemuchwala said in the email.
Wipro has appointed an interim successor to Meister and is hunting for a full-time successor. Ashiq Hassanali, who joined Wipro in 2014 from T-Systems and is currently vice-president of Continental European Market Development Unit, will work with Neemuchwala in an administrative capacity to run the Continental Europe business, the email said.
Bengaluru-based Wipro did not immediately respond to mails and text messages from ET seeking comment. Meister and Hassanali didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
Europe accounted for about 25% of the company’s IT services revenue in the three months ended December 31. Meister had joined Wipro from T-Systems in 2013. His exit is at least the third top-level departure from Wipro in the past few months, when the company is undergoing its biggest organisational overhaul in five years.
In January, Neemuchwala’s predecessor TK Kurien moved on to the role of executive vice chairman and will retire early next year. Neemuchwala now has the task of resurrecting Wipro’s fortunes and help it win market share against bigger rivals Infosys and his former company Tata Consultancy Services, especially in top customer accounts such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase — something that even Kurien struggled to achieve during his five-year tenure.
For now, Neemuchwala enjoys Wipro’s billionaire chairman and promoter Azim Premji’s complete confidence to make large-scale changes aimed at restoring the company’s former glory and confidence among increasingly impatient investors in Wipro.
Wipro undertook a broad organisational reshuffle that saw the elevation of company veteran Bhanumurthy BM to the role of chief operating officer, a development that ET first reported on January 7.
“Wipro Ltd can confirm that Ulrich Meister, chief executive, Continental Europe, has decided to pursue opportunities outside of the company. During his nearly three-year stint with Wipro, Ulrich played a key role in bolstering the company’s local presence, and forging deep relationships with our partners. Wipro wishes him all success in his future endeavors.”