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Cognizant's D'Souza signs off, Bali to join as independent director

D'Souza was the last of the three Indian and Indian origin co-founders of the firm that initially started as a captive unit of Dun & Bradstreet in 1994 through a JV with Satyam Computers

Debasis Mohapatra  |  Bengaluru 

Francisco D'Souza
Francisco D'Souza

After spending nearly two and a half decades in the company he had co-founded with two others, Francisco D’Souza, currently the vice-chairman at Cognizant, has decided to sign off. The Nasdaq-listed firm on Thursday announced his departure from the board effective from March 31.

D’Souza was the last of the three Indian and Indian origin co-founders of Cognizant, which initially started as a captive unit of Dun & Bradstreet-back in 1994 through a joint venture with Satyam Computers. It became an independent company after being spun off from the parent two years later. The other founder, Kumar Mahadeva, who served as the CEO for the first five years, retired from the board in 2003.

Lakshmi Narayanan who succeeded him as the CEO before handing over the baton to D’Souza who was in his late 30’s that time, one of the youngest professional to hold any global tech firm at that time. Narayanan, who continued in the board, resigned from the company in 2017. When D’Souza assumed the role of CEO in 2007, Cognizant’s revenue stood at $2.1 billion, which grew to $14.8 billion in 2017.

“Frank has been an extraordinary leader. He deserves enormous recognition for his achievements at On a personal level, I am fortunate to have him as a trusted confidant and sounding board,” said Brian Humphries, CEO at

The Teaneck, New Jersey-based IT services firm also announced the appointment of Vinita Bali to its board as a new independent director, effective 24 February.

Bali served as the MD and CEO of Britannia Industries from 2005 to 2014 and currently sits on the boards of many Indian and US-based

First Published: Thu, February 06 2020. 20:24 IST