Cognizant gets Soma Pandey as head-talent management

Pandey takes up this role at a time when Cognizant is in the midst of facing high attrition rate and major senior leadership exits


Cognizant has appointed Soma Pandey as its new head of talent management in India. In this new assignment, Pandey will be heading the enterprise talent strategy, including addressing key people practices, talent and performance management, learning and leadership development, culture and employee experience.

Pandey has joined at a very crucial time when Cognizant has been making headlines for having the highest attrition rate —about 33 per cent — when many of their senior members of the leadership team are also moving out of the Company. Very recently, Suresh Bethavandu, who was the global head of talent acquisition at Cognizant India moved to Mindtree as its chief people officer.

Prior to this, Pandey was the CHRO at Firstsource, an RP Sanjeev Goenka Group company that offers digital first and transformational solutions to businesses.

Pandey comes with over 25 years of experience in HR and has worked with various known brands. In the initial phase of her career, Pandey worked with ITC where she spent four years and served her last position as an HR manager.

Later, she moved on to join Mastek UK as an HR consultant and a year later got promoted to the post of operational manager. After spending two years at Mastek, Pandey went on to join Accenture as GM-HR and within two years she was promoted as the vice president-HR there.

She spent a little more than six years at Accenture before taking up the role of chief people officer at Randstad India, a manpower and staffing company. At Ranstad, she played a crucial role in transforming the culture of the company — from entrepreneurial to being a seamless extension of the global enterprise.

Pandey is accomplished at envisioning and executing large-scale transformations in people practices, and has steered businesses smoothly through culture transformations, leadership transitions, business divestments and acquisitions, HR technology and shared services deployments in myriad global contexts.

“I am excited to join at this time of growth, and partner with team members across all levels to ensure Cognizant continues to be a place where everyone is driven by purpose and empowered to do their life’s best work,” shares Pandey.

Pandey is an alumna of the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur, India and is an SHRM Senior Certified Professional. She is passionate about wellness, diversity and inclusion, and humanising work systems to help employees live fuller lives. Residing in Bangalore, she enjoys exploring new places and cultures with family and friends.

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