Kumar succeeds Brian Humphrieswho had a tumultuous tenure at the IT firm since 2019. To facilitate a smooth transition, Humphries would remain with the company as a special advisor until March 15, Cognizant said.
The move comes at a time when analysts had noted during the recent earnings that the performance of the company necessitated leadership changes at the company.
“Continued underperformance relative to its Tier I peers will magnify pressure on the board to examine management’s performance and execution, demanding accountability and potentially leading to executive role changes,” Wedbush’s Moshe Katri said in a note then.
Cognizant on Thursday also revised its revenue guidance. It now expects fourth quarter and full-year revenue of approximately $4.8 billion and $19.4 billion, respectively, compared to prior expectations of $4.72-$4.77 billion for the fourth quarter and $19.3 billion for the full year. This reflects a YoY increase of approximately or 4.1% in constant currency terms for the fourth quarter and growth of approximately 7.5% for full-year 2022.
Kumar joins Cognizant after a 20-year career at Infosys, where he held various leadership roles, most recently serving as President from January 2016 through October 2022. He earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Shivaji University and his MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, India.
“I am honoured to join Cognizant, a company I have long admired for its dedicated client focus and its track record of innovation,” Kumar said. “I look forward to working with Steve, the rest of the board, and the leadership team to capture the many opportunities ahead.”
The company also announced that Stephen J Rohleder, a member of Cognizant’s Board since March 2022, has been elected as the Chair of the Board. Former Chair Michael Patsalos-Fox will remain on the board as an independent director.
“The board is focused on positioning Cognizant to reaccelerate growth and drive shareholder value,” Cognizant’s new chair of the board Rohleder said. “As a proven leader with deep experience developing global talent and building a culture of success, we believe Ravi is the right person to take Cognizant into its next phase of growth,” he added.
Humphries said: “I am proud of our team’s achievements during my tenure as CEO. Our brand is more visible, our portfolio is stronger, our client relationships are more consultative and we are better aligned to high growth digital segments within our market. The company is in a great position for success.”
Cognizant had previously appointed Kumar as the president of Cognizant Americas, and Surya Gummadi, a 24-year veteran of Cognizant, has now been named for the same role.