Wipro's Chairman Rishad Premji in his address to shareholders at Wipro's 75th annual general meeting said that there were no plans to lay off any employees due to coronavirus-triggered slowdown. "We are trying to drive cost reduction through various other means through operationally and otherwise, but we have laid off no people and have no plans to lay off anybody at the moment," Premji said. Premji also added that 93 per cent of the company's employees across the world were currently working from home. "In these past few months, we have settled well into this new way of working and our focus remains on making our clients successful. I also believe that some of these changes will forever transform how we work in the future" he said.
Premji also replied to shareholders' queries around justification of compensation to the CEO (highest in Wipro's history) and any impending layoffs as cost reduction measure. Rishad said that with two-thirds of the compensation of new CEO Thierry Delaporte linked to the performance of the company, if Wipro did well everyone would stand to benefit, including the CEO.
Meanwhile, the new Chief Executive Office Thierry Delaporte told shareholders that getting the company to a profitable growth would be his top priority. The company, which is due to announce its first quarterly numbers for FY21 tomorrow, has been struggling with growth in the recent past. Thierry said over the past one week he had interacted with Chairman Rishad Premji, other senior leaders and employees at various levels. "I hope to finalise the plan to drive improvements across all spheres in our quest to achieve industry-leading growth," he said.
Also assuring that the company will be doing everything to regain momentum, he said, "Building on our strong foundation, we will make bold bets and stretch goals. We will aim to drive a high-performance culture even as we steadfastly hold to our cherished values".
Thierry could take home nearly Rs 50 crore this year, along with stock option benefits. Being the first non-Indian CEO, Thierry's basic pay would be in the range of Rs 9.12-11.9 crore, with a target variable pay of Rs 14.4-21.3 crore. He will also be eligible for an expatriate allowance in the range of Rs 3.6-4.7 crore, and a one-time cash award Rs 22.8 crore payable over two equal tranches. The company will also grant 1.2 million American Depositary Share restricted stock units comprising 300,000 ADS Restricted Units and 900,000 ADS Performance Stock Units. While the 300,000 units will vest in three instalments over 3 years, the PSUs will vest in full on July 1, 2022, subject to performance.
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