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Cognizant to upskill 5,000 staffers

The firm had planned to increase hiring in its sales vertical to build a 500-strong team that will target niche deals in digital services.

Updated: Nov 21, 2019, 11.38 AM IST
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Cognizant has also hired former Capgemini executive Mark Taylor as senior VP for its interactive business, as chief executive officer Brian Humphries beefs up his senior team as part of his growth strategy.
MUMBAI: Technology services provider Cognizant has begun identifying executives from its mid and top tiers for re-skilling and re-training, following plans to optimise workforce to reduce costs and improve margins.

The firm is in the process of selecting mid- and senior-level resources among the planned 5,000 employees who will be reskilled, chief financial officer Karen McLoughlin said in a recent analyst call.

“So, (we are) looking now to try and identify who are the first wave of folks that we will put through those re-skilling programmes and then put them back into the market. All of this is targeted, and I would call sort of the more mid- to senior levels of the organization. So (we are) really trying to address our pyramid,” said McLoughlin.

The firm earlier this year embarked on a large-scale cost reduction programme – with up to 12,000 job cuts, reorganisation of its pyramid , reskilling and exiting some lines of business – that it said would help achieve between $500 million and $550 million in savings. It expects to achieve $400 million of these savings by next year, McLoughlin said.

Cognizant has also hired former Capgemini executive Mark Taylor as senior VP for its interactive business, as chief executive officer Brian Humphries beefs up his senior team as part of his growth strategy.

The firm had planned to increase hiring in its sales vertical to build a 500-strong team that will target niche deals in digital services.

McLoughlin said 60 of the planned 500 new executives had been onboarded and hiring would continue into the next two quarters. The new employees would take between 9 and12 months to turn into revenue generating executives, she added. Depending on future performance and need, the company would also determine if 300-500 more sales executives would be required.

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