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May 23, 2024

Thierry Delaporte: Highest-Paid CEO in Indian IT with $20 Million Compensation

Thierry Delaporte, former Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Wipro, has once again secured his position as the highest-paid CEO in the Indian IT sector with an impressive income of $20 million (approximately Rs 166 crore) for FY24. This marks the second consecutive year Delaporte has achieved this distinction, having earned $10 million (around Rs 83 crore) in FY23.

Delaporte’s tenure at Wipro concluded with his resignation on April 6, 2024, and he will officially step down at the close of business on May 31. His successor, Srinivas Pallia, a seasoned veteran at Wipro, took over the roles of CEO and MD immediately following Delaporte’s departure.

Wipro’s 20-F filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission provide a detailed breakdown of Delaporte’s compensation. His earnings comprised approximately $3.9 million in salary and allowances, $5 million in commission or variable pay, $6.8 million categorized as other compensation, and $4.3 million as long-term compensation. Additionally, Wipro incurred severance-related costs amounting to Rs 92.1 crore for FY24 due to Delaporte’s departure, contributing to total restructuring costs, including employee severance, of Rs 681.4 crore for the fiscal year.

Following Delaporte’s departure, the new CEO Srinivas Pallia is set to receive an annual remuneration package of approximately Rs 50 crore, positioning him among the highest-paid CEOs in the Indian IT industry for the current fiscal year.

The company filings also mentioned that Rishad Premji, Wipro’s Executive Chairman, did not receive his commission of 0.35 percent on incremental consolidated net profit due to the company’s financial performance, as Wipro posted a loss in FY24.

Delaporte’s substantial compensation comes amid challenging times for Wipro, with IT revenues for the full fiscal year FY24 experiencing a 3.8 percent year-on-year decline, totaling $10.8 billion. Looking ahead, Wipro’s forecast for Q1FY25 remains cautious, with expected IT services revenue in the range of $2.62 billion to $2.68 billion, translating to a sequential revenue growth of -1.5 percent to +0.5 percent in constant currency terms.

In comparison, other prominent CEOs in the Indian IT sector have received significantly lower remuneration. Infosys CEO Salil Parekh earned Rs 56 crore, HCLTech CEO and MD C Vijayakumar received Rs 28.4 crore, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO and MD K Krithivasan drew about Rs 25.36 crore in annual compensation for FY24.

Delaporte’s compensation package for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, also includes the cost of accelerated vesting of 989,130 unvested stock options and additional cash compensation of $4.33 million. Wipro justified these expenses as recognition of Delaporte’s significant contributions to the company’s transformation efforts and to ensure a smooth leadership transition. These costs also align with post-engagement obligations such as confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-disparagement agreements.

In summary, Thierry Delaporte’s tenure at Wipro, marked by his substantial compensation package, reflects the challenges and transformations faced by the company. As Wipro navigates these changes under new leadership, the industry will closely watch its financial performance and strategic direction in the coming fiscal years.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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