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Need for Dual CEO:

After Vivek Paul, Wipros vice chairman left the company in 2005, Azim Premji became the
CEO and continued to be the Chairman. Wipros IT business were functioning as different
units and were headed by their President. Strategic decision making was under the purview
of Azim Premji. He had hands on style of leadership and was involved in day to day
operations of the company. He was becoming overburdened and as a result he was not able
to focus on Wipros future course of action.
Succession planning was always on his mind ever since Vivek Paul left. As he looked for
solutions, the idea of co-CEO structure began to take shape. One of the board member who
had experience in Unilever (Unilever followed co-CEO structure) suggested the idea of dual
CEO which was later approved by board unanimously.
Wipro is known for its strong home grown culture. The employees worked in cultural teams.
They have a collaborative work culture which facilitate their responsiveness to market
changes. It was this culture at Wipro which made Premji reluctant to hire a CEO from
outside.
The outsourced IT service industry was transforming. As a result Wipro had customers in
almost 50 countries and they had grown into an 80,000 person entity. It was necessary for
Wipro to integrate their domestic and global business. They needed to undertake leadership
restructuring and re-grouping. Wipros size and complexity of operations was increasing and
with co-CEOs they would be able to handle complex deals.




Restructuring would led to the following:
Cross-leverage competencies by integrating domestic and global IT business
Providing younger executives an opportunity to grow by giving them larger responsibilities
Dual
CEO
Culture
Leadership
Style of
Azim Premji
Environment
Fig: Factors involved in need for dual CEO
Frees Premji to spend time on Wipros future course of action and on large clients

All these factors- Wipros culture, Global environment and Premjis leadership style led Wipro to opt
for Dual CEO structure. Girish Paranjpe and Suresh Vaswani who had worked together for more than
10 years and had been Wipro for more 15 years were chosen as the joint CEO.