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Cognizant appoints Anil Cheriyan, former US IT leader, as EVP of tech and strategy

This is the first time that Cognizant will have a technology leader reporting directly to the CEO, reflecting the transition of IT from being a support function to becoming the essence of the business.

Cheriyan will take over the reins of Cognizant's IT and Security remediation efforts from Greg Hyttenrauch, who has led these efforts since April.
Cheriyan will take over the reins of Cognizant's IT and Security remediation efforts from Greg Hyttenrauch, who has led these efforts since April. (Anil Cheriyan/Twitter)

IT major Cognizant has roped in Anil Cheriyan as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Technology who will oversee the company's global IT, security, strategy, alliances, and business development functions.

In an e-mail to employees, the company's CEO Brian Humphries said Cheriyan will join Cognizant on August 3 in the new role.

"Over the past few quarters, the Executive Committee (EC) and I have been discussing the importance of having an EC-level leader of Technology to inform our strategy, digitise our business, and strengthen our IT and Security capabilities and resilience, which is more important than ever given our recent ransomware attack," Humphries said.

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Cheriyan, who will also be a member of the EC, will oversee global IT led by Rakesh Bhardwaj, global security led by Dan Smith, and the strategy, alliances, and business development (including Accelerator) team led by Brad Berry, he added.

This is the first time that Cognizant will have a technology leader reporting directly to the CEO, reflecting the transition of IT from being a support function to becoming the essence of the business.

Cheriyan will take over the reins of Cognizant's IT and Security remediation efforts from Greg Hyttenrauch, who has led these efforts since April. Hyttenrauch will focus on handling Digital Systems and Technology for the company.

Cheriyan was most recently the US Presidential Appointee in charge of Technology Transformation Services. In that capacity, he drove the technology transformation strategy, roadmap, and agenda across the US federal government, oversaw a $100 billion technology budget, and worked closely with the White House, agency leadership, and the Federal CIO.

"He accelerated the transformation of several federal agencies, leveraging industry-leading talent in artificial intelligence, cloud, digital platforms, data and analytics, identity, and citizen experience. Anil's experience aligns perfectly with our focus on executing Cognizant's digitization agenda," Humphries said.

Prior to the government role, Cheriyan has served as EVP and CIO of SunTrust Banks and has worked with Phase IV Ventures, IBM Global Business Services, and PwC Management Consulting.

"As we prepare for the second half of 2020, we have good reason to feel confident about Cognizant's strong position in the COVID era. Our momentum and competitiveness are growing. Our client relationships are robust. And our digital portfolio is becoming a larger portion of our revenue mix...I firmly believe we will emerge from the pandemic a much stronger company...," Humphries said. 

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