Shiv Nadar, a pioneer in the Indian IT sector, has stepped down as the managing director and board member of HCL Technologies, a year after handing over the reins of the IT major to his daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra. In July last year, Nadar had stepped down from the chairman’s role and Roshni succeeded him, becoming the first woman to chair a listed Indian IT firm.
The company has appointed C Vijayakumar, president and CEO of the company, as the managing director with a title of CEO and MD for a term of five years with effect from July 20.
Shiv Nadar, who has completed 76 years of age, will now take on the role of Chairman Emeritus and Strategic Advisor to the company’s board, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.
“In order to continue to benefit from his vast knowledge, experience, and wisdom in an advisory role, the board…approved the appointment of Shri Shiv Nadar as the Chairman Emeritus and Strategic Advisor to the Board for a term of five years with effect from July 20, 2021,” the filing said.
It added that payment of remuneration or providing any facilities under this role will be subject to shareholder approval.
Shiv Nadar is a pioneer of the computing and IT industry in India. In 1976, he founded the HCL Group that started off as a technology hardware company, manufacturing the country’s first indigenous computers and then evolved into a more comprehensive software services global organisation.
Under Nadar’s leadership, HCL is credited with the first ‘Made in India’ IT product innovations with the first 8-bit microprocessor-based computer in 1978 and the world’s first fine-grained multi-processor UNIX installation in 1989, among others. HCL played a key role in supporting India’s telecom revolution through the creation of the largest mobile distribution network with Nokia.
Like his industry peer Azim Premji, Nadar has also focussed his efforts on philanthropic activities and supporting various initiatives, including around education. In 1994, the Padma Bhushan recipient established Shiv Nadar Foundation.
As of March 2021, the Shiv Nadar Foundation had invested around USD 988 million to create institutions of transformational education that are nurturing India’s next generation of leaders. The Foundation has directly touched over 34,000 students.
Notably, over the past few years, promoters of various IT companies have carved out succession plans for the next generation. In 2019, Wipro had announced Azim Premji will retire as executive chairman of Wipro and his son Rishad, who was serving as chief strategy officer and a board member at that time, took over as the executive chairman of the company.
Recently, NIIT Ltd had announced the expansion of its board with four new members, including promoters’ children Udai S Pawar and Leher V Thadani.
In a separate regulatory filing on Monday, HCL Technologies said it has appointed former IBM executive, Vanitha Narayanan to the board of directors.
Narayanan, as an additional director on the HCL Technologies’ board, will hold office as an independent director of the company, the filing said.
With the addition of Narayanan, the company’s board includes four women directors.
Her appointment is effective July 19, 2021.
In 2020, Vanitha retired after a career spanning three decades at IBM where she held multiple key roles leading large businesses in geographies like US, Asia-Pacific and India. These roles included serving as managing director and chairman of IBM India and other leadership positions in the global communications and telecommunications industries.
“I am pleased to welcome Vanitha to the board of HCL and appreciate her decision to become a part of the HCL family. She brings rich and diverse experience of navigating organisations through digital transformation journeys,” HCL Technologies Chairperson Roshni Nadar Malhotra said.
Malhotra added that her deep knowledge and understanding of the evolving marketing and technology landscape will be a great asset to HCL’s focus on driving growth.
“Her experience of viewing evolution and innovations in technology from a multi-geography lens will add value to HCL as we expand our footprints globally. We look forward to working together.