Conduent CEO Ashok Vemuri steps down
US-listed Conduent’s chief executive officer Ashok Vemuri has stepped down. Ashok’s resignation comes at a when the company has forecast a dip in revenues for 2019 and its board is battling activist investor Carl Icahn for control of the business.
Vemuri said in a statement, “As Conduent enters its next phase and continues the pivot to growth, this is the right time to begin the transition to the next CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the Board and the management team during this transition period to ensure the succession process is seamless.”
Last month, Conduent board member Michael Nevin stepped down from the company and wrote a letter criticizing the board’s workings. Nevin was Icahn’s nominee on the company’s board. Nevin had questioned a slew of decisions at the company, including its slowness in hiring a chief operating officer, failing to resolve a decade-long lawsuit with the US State of Texas, and plans to make a $200 Mn acquisition even as the company’s finances deteriorated. Conduent fought back against Nevin’s criticism saying his letter was part of an attempt by Carl Icahn to take over the company’s board.
Meanwhile, the Conduent Board has initiated a search to identify the company’s next CEO and is considering internal and external candidates as part of the process. The board has retained an executive search firm to assist with the process, as per a company statement which announced first-quarter results.
The board expects its CEO search to be concluded in the third-quarter of 2019, until which time Vemuri would continue at the helm. Under Vemuri, a long-time Infosys hand, the company has built a large offshore base, employing over 12,000 people in India. In March last year, Conduent opened its ninth offshore base in Vishakapatnam to employ over 5,000 people.
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