Srini Pallia — The insider trusted to hike Wipro back up

IT major Wipro recently appointed Srinivas Pallia as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director to succeed outgoing Thierry Delaporte. Pallia — referred to as Srini — so far a lesser-known executive, with his three decades of experience at Wipro is entrusted to bring back stability and restore alignment internally. 

Pallia has walked a journey so far. He pursued a Master of Technology at Indian Institute of Science(IISC) in 1992. In the later years, he also took up Harvard Business School’s Global Businesses executive programme, and the Advanced Leadership Program at McGill Executive Institute. 

Right out of IISC, Pallia found his first job at Wipro. In 1992, he joined as Product Manager and since then has served in seven roles, gaining deep and broad background across Wipro’s various geographies, functions, service lines, and business units. 

In his career spanning thirty years, Pallia has held numerous leadership roles, including President of Wipro’s Consumer Business Unit and Global Head of Business Application Services, Chief Executive of RCTG Business Unit, and Vice President of Enterprise Business in the US. Most recently, he served as the CEO for Americas 1. 

“His unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, his relentless focus on delivering results and his extensive first-hand experience of significant technological changes and industry transformations further enhance Wipro’s position,” the company said on his appointment. 

Intern stability

The Wipro veteran is said to be chosen to bring back internal stability, as under the Ex-outsider CEO, the company had seen an exodus of senior-level exits, and morale has taken a hit. 

“While several external candidates were mooted, Rishad(Premji) has opted for a popular internal candidate based in New Jersey, the heartland of IT services decision making.  Srini has the respect of the guys who built the firm (those who are still there) and is well-liked by key partners Microsoft and SAP.  He knows the company, he knows many of the key clients, especially ones like Este and Tapestry he personally left for Wipro,” IT analyst Phil Fersht writes in his blog. 

Huge task

With the company consistently losing top talent, its employer brand taking a hit and morale being down internally, Pallia has a huge task to turnaround the fortunes of the company, as he assumes the new role. “The firm has to play catch-up during the toughest time facing Indian-heritage outsourcing, and Pallia needs to weather more challenging quarters, impatient shareholders and unrealistic expectations.  Thierry hasn’t left a great legacy to build on,” Fersht opines. 

While not much is known about his personal life yet, Pallia is based in New Jersey, and lives with his family. He is also a passionate hiker, as he has mentioned in his first email as a CEO to all the employees. “Hiking is my passion — it’s a way of life that grounds me, offering both physical and mental rejuvenation. The qualities I rely on while hiking — resilience, tenacity, and adaptability — are the same ones guiding me as a leader,” he wrote. 

As he spearheads the company, drawing from the learnings gained by hiking, he strives to create a culture that values every step of the journey — triumphs, setbacks, and everything in between.

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