Cognizant CEO Frank D’Souza leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around 12 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for D’Souza
  • Brian Humphries taking over
  • D’Souza will remain as Vice Chairman at Cognizant
  • D’Souza spoke at length and said 197 words

(exechange) — Teaneck, New Jersey, February 6, 2019 — Frank D’Souza, chief executive of Cognizant, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Francisco (Frank) D’Souza leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the provider of IT services after around 12 years in the role, effective April 1, 2019.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 8.2 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 31 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 10 years.

Frank D’Souza’s move comes five months after Michael Patsalos-Fox took over as Chairman of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation.

Frank D’Souza’s duties will be taken over by Brian Humphries, currently Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Business.

The fact that Frank D’Souza’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

Frank D’Souza’s move is part of a management shake-up also involving the position of President.

“This is the right time for me to step aside”

The management change is explained as follows. D’Souza said: “While I have enjoyed serving as CEO, I believe this is the right time for me to step aside and for the Company to name a new leader to build on the strong foundations we’ve created and take Cognizant into the future.”

D’Souza will remain as Vice Chairman at Cognizant

“Following Humphries’ appointment, Francisco D’Souza, who co-founded Cognizant and has served as CEO since 2007, will serve as full-time Executive Vice Chairman to facilitate the transition through June 30, 2019. Thereafter, he will remain on the Board as Vice Chairman,” Cognizant said.

“Step down”

Cognizant said: “On February 6, 2019, the Company also announced that Francisco D’Souza will step down as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2019, and has agreed to serve as an advisor to the new Chief Executive Officer with the title of “Executive Vice Chairman” from April 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019.”

Share price increase since January 2007

The announcement follows an increase in Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation’s share price of 234 percent since January 2007.

Chaired by Michael Patsalos-Fox

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation is chaired by Michael Patsalos-Fox.

Michael Patsalos-Fox joined Cognizant’s Board of Directors in July 2012 and was elected Chair of the Board in September 2018. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Stroz Friedberg, Inc., a global cyber security firm, a position he held from 2013 to 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2007

Francisco D’Souza has been the Chief Executive Officer of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation since January 1, 2007 and its Vice Chair since June 2018.

In his role as CEO, D’Souza sets the strategic direction, promotes Cognizant’s values and client-first culture and focuses on ensuring the company’s sustainable growth and driving long-term stockholder value.

He co-founded Cognizant in 1994 and has served as the company’s CEO since 2007, leading revenue growth from $2.1 billion that year to $14.8 billion in 2017.

Cognizant is ranked 195 on the Fortune 500 and consistently listed among the most admired companies in the world.

In 2017, Fortune named Cognizant to its Fortune Future 50 list, a ranking of companies best positioned for breakout growth.

And in 2018, Cognizant was named to the first-ever Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, a ranking of the environmental, social and governance practices of large U.S. publicly traded companies.

D’Souza serves on GE’s Board of Directors, where he is a member of the Technology & Industrial Risk Committee.

He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University and as Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science, a center for interactive science that serves half a million students and teachers each year.

He is a member of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Science Visiting Council for the science program NOVA.

Fortune magazine named Francisco a “Fortune Businessperson of the Year” for 2017, highlighting his mission to prioritize services that help clients adapt and keep pace with the digital revolution.

Born in Kenya and the son of an Indian diplomat, Francisco is a global citizen who has lived in nine countries and traveled extensively to many more.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Macau and an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the likelihood that a manager was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.

exechange reached out to Cognizant and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2019 ($).