Wipro Nears Settlement with Former Executives Who Joined Competitor Cognizant

Wipro Nears Settlement with Former Executives Who Joined Competitor Cognizant

Wipro Nears Settlement with Former Executives Who Joined Competitor Cognizant

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Wipro, a prominent Indian IT company, is in the final stages of reaching a settlement agreement with two former senior executives who departed for competitor Cognizant. Jatin Dalal, Wipro’s former chief financial officer (CFO), and Mohd Haque, the ex-head of Wipro’s healthcare business, are the key figures involved in the negotiations. 

According to sources, the agreement is anticipated to be finalized within this week among Wipro, Cognizant, Dalal, and Haque. The story unfolded when both Dalal and Haque left Wipro in November 2023. Dalal subsequently joined Cognizant as their CFO, prompting a lawsuit from Wipro seeking damages of Rs 25 crore (approximately $3.1 million) from Dalal for allegedly breaching his contract.

Wipro’s lawsuit against Dalal claimed that his departure before the contract expiration necessitated compensation for unvested stock units, part of his compensation package as Wipro’s CFO. Haque, on the other hand, faced legal action for allegedly violating a non-compete clause by joining Cognizant, a direct competitor.

While the specifics of Haque’s non-compete clause are undisclosed, his move to Cognizant likely constituted a violation as perceived by Wipro. Initially filed in a Bengaluru court in January 2024, both parties now seem inclined towards resolving the matter amicably.

Following an order from the Bengaluru civil court in January, Dalal invoked his rights to an arbitral tribunal. Reports indicate that a settlement agreement is being finalized, involving all parties concerned. The terms remain confidential, indicating a mutual desire to avoid prolonged legal proceedings.

This episode underscores the intricacies of employee transitions within the competitive Indian IT sector, where companies invest significantly in retaining top talent. Legal disputes over non-compete clauses and contract breaches are not uncommon, reflecting the challenges inherent in talent management within this industry.