wipro: Wipro appoints insurance sector veteran NS Kannan as independent director


India’s fourth largest IT firm Wipro has appointed former ICICI Prudential Life Insurance chief executive NS Kannan as independent director for a period of five years subject to shareholder approval.

A veteran in the financial services sector with over 30 years, his tenure will start with effect from October 1, according to an exchange filing. Kannan has been part of various government and other regulatory committees. He was appointed as the Reserve Bank of India advisor to resolve the troubled lender DHFL in 2019. He is also a member of the corporate bonds and securitization advisory committee of the stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Kannan had recently retired from the top role at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. “During his tenure, he led the company’s transformation into a multiproduct and multi-channel company. Kannan has served in various leadership roles in the ICICI group, including as executive director and chief financial officer of ICICI Bank,” the press release added.

“Wipro will greatly benefit from his leadership experience, and expertise across finance, strategy, corporate governance, risk management, and beyond,” said Rishad Premji, chairman of Wipro on the appointment.

“I am excited and honored to join the Board of Wipro, an iconic values and purpose-driven company that is a key technology partner to some of the most respected clients globally. I look forward to contributing to its next phase of growth and impact,” said Kannan reacting to the appointment.

He holds a graduate degree in mechanical engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy and chartered financial analyst certification from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI).

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Former McKinsey partner Ireena Vittal is the lead independent director. Patrick J Ennis and Patrick Dupuis are the other independent directors on the board of the company. Dupuis is a former PayPal and General Electric executive, who also held the position of chief financial officer of GE Healthcare. Ennis is a partner at US-based VC firm Madrona Venture Group. Asia Pacific chief executive Tulsi Naidu, Päivi Rekonen and HDFC-veteran Deepak Satwalekar are the other independent directors in the board.

Last month, Wipro posted a 12% on year rise in net profit for the first quarter missing estimates by an ET poll of analysts due to underperformance in financial services and communications verticals while clients postponing discretionary spending in the short term. The Bengaluru-based software major also pegged its revenue growth guidance at -2% to +1% growth in constant currency for the ongoing quarter-ended September.

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