Rajeev Mehta set to be Mindtree CEO

Mehta, who had worked for two decades at Cognizant, joined L&T in April.

The Mindtree Chief Executive's post fell vacant after Co-founders Krishnakumar Natarajan, N.S. Parthasarathy and Rostow Ravanan resigned earlier this month.
BENGALURU: Former Cognizant president Rajeev Mehta will take over as the chief executive of Mindtree, the mid-tier IT services firm now controlled by engineering giant Larsen & Toubro.

Mehta, who had worked for two decades at Cognizant, joined L&T in April.

A formal announcement on the Mindtree appointment is expected on August 2, people familiar with the development said. Emails to Mindtree and L&T remained unanswered at press time Wednesday.

Another former executive of Cognizant, Debashis Chatterjee, was also among the contenders for the top job at Mindtree.

Mindtree founders — Krishnakumar Natarajan, NS Parthasarathy and Rostow Ravanan — who had announced to quit the company in early July, soon after L&T turned its promoter with a 60.06% stake, served their last working day on Wednesday. They remain shareholders in the company.

Shares of Mindtree have fallen after L&T acquired the stake at Rs 980 a share and analysts have blamed the exit of the founders as well as the company’s weak first-quarter performance for this. Investors had punished the company for the drop in operating margins to 9% in the quarter, due to a one-time bonus to employees and increase in wage costs.

The stock closed at Rs 717.30 on Wednesday on the BSE.

L&T chief executive SN Subrahmanyan told investors last month that L&T had taken steps to improve the business as well as margins of Mindtree. Also, Mindtree chairman AM Naik had written to all its customers, assuring business continuity.
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