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Cognizant CEO Exclusive: Speculation around lay offs is noise, will hire in India

information technology | Sept 24, 2019 7:31 PM IST

Cognizant CEO Exclusive: Speculation around lay-offs is noise, will hire in India

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“Growth will end a lot of evils in any company”. These words by Cognizant’s Global CEO Brian Humphries summarize Cognizant’s journey since he took over the IT giant in April this year. Speaking to CNBC-TV18 in his first interview after taking over in April this year, Brian admitted that the company has not been performing to its potential but he expressed confidence in the vision that he has set for the company since he came on board.

“Growth will end a lot of evils in any company”. These words by Cognizant’s Global CEO Brian Humphries summarize Cognizant’s journey since he took over the IT giant in April this year.

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With two cuts in guidance for CY19, Cognizant which was once the poster boy of the IT services industry has had a tough year, to say the least. However, Humphries is unfazed and yet very aware of the tall task ahead of him.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18 in his first interview after taking over in April this year, Humphries admitted that the company has not been performing to its potential but he expressed confidence in the vision that he has set for the company since he came on board. He seeks to invest in the company’s brand, skills, technology and clients to fuel growth.
On the company's growth outlook Humphries said, “I think the fundamentals of the business remain very strong. It is clear that we haven’t been performing to our potential so that has really been my focus since I have joined. I spend all my time internally with our associates, all our time with customers and really trying to drive our strong values. So I am confident that the market is strong and we will be able to accelerate growth into the future.”
Humphries believes that as the company taps into demand potential as it grows its capabilities in newer technologies and skillsets. This he believes will help the company regain lost ground and bounce backfiring on all its growth cylinders.
The Cognizant CEO also abolished the big concern around Cognizant’s restructuring. Reports have suggested that Cognizant may undergo wide-scale lay-offs across its offices. Humphries said, that a lot of the reports are noise and clarified that with the company growing and investing in technology, they will continue to hire more people.
He said, “I think a lot of this is noise that you see popping up in the media in the absence of other headlines… As we accelerate our growth we will actually hire more people, so, on the contrary, I am expecting to increase headcounts in India and indeed internationally.”
However, Humphries clarified that the headcount will now be reshaped, which means the skills that are needed for the new jobs will be focused on newer technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, etc. In the comprehensive interview, Humphries clarified on many areas including the SEC probe and the outlook on regulatory & macro-economic issues.
The Cognizant CEO also opened up about slowdown fears in the US economy. He said that the North American market contributed to three-fourth of Cognizant's revenue and it was looking in robust shape. He added, "I think the shift to digital will drive further growth opportunities. At this moment we are actually investing in sales headcount, both in North America as well as internationally. So we have approved up to 500 headcount additions with a view to getting that market opportunity and indeed with a view to accelerating our growth rate.”
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