Cognizant CPO Becky Schmitt resigns

Kathy Diaz, senior VP of rewards and HR mergers and acquisitions will serve as the CPO till the time the company finds a suitable replacement.


Cognizant is experiencing more changes in top-level leadership. The chief people officer, Becky Schmitt, has announced her resignation and will leave the company on May 5. In an internal memo, Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S informed employees about her departure. Kathy Diaz, who is the senior VP of rewards and HR mergers and acquisitions, will temporarily serve as the CPO until a replacement is found.

When asked about Schmitt’s departure, Cognizant responded that she was leaving for another professional opportunity and thanked her for her contributions in improving the employee experience. The company has already started a comprehensive search to find a new CPO, and the search will include both internal and external candidates.

Kumar stated in his memo that they will continue building on the strong progress of recent quarters to boost retention. He credits Schmitt with bringing in initiatives that made Cognizant a more employee-centric company. She joined the organization in February 2020 and oversaw the HR function during a period when the company experienced one of the worst attrition rates of over 30 per cent during 2021-2022.

According to Phil Fersht, CEO and chief analyst of HFS Research, Schmitt’s resignation indicates that the new CEO Ravi Kumar is making rapid changes to improve the quality of leadership and reduce bloated costs. Cognizant experienced numerous top-level exits and had one of the lowest organic growth rates in the IT industry under the previous CEO Brian Humphries, who left in 2022. Cognizant reported USD 4.8 billion in revenue for the October-December 2022 quarter.


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