Mindtree rejigs top leadership positions, Suresh B is new CPO

He takes over from Paneesh Rao, who will now essay the role of global head of sustainability


Mindtree has appointed Suresh Bethavandu as its new chief people officer (CPO). He will take over the responsibility of leading the people strategy agenda from Paneesh Rao, who is now the global head of sustainability at the tech company confirms a spokesperson of Mindtree with HRKatha. Bethavandu took charge as the CPO with effect from December 1, 2021. At Mindtree, he will be responsible for all key dimensions of the talent lifecycle spanning recruitment, performance management, compensation, operations, learning and development, leadership development, career design, competency development, workforce planning, resource management, and organisation development.

Bethavandu has moved from Cognizant, where he served a successful and long tenure of 25 years, after having joined in 1996 as an HR manager. Slowly and steadily, he climbed up the ranks, serving in various leadership positions in the company in the HR domain, before finally moving out after holding the position of head – global talent acquisition.

With close to three decades of experience in HR, Bethavandu was with Wipro as an executive for HR and admin, before he joined Cognizant.

He holds a PG diploma in HR from Madras School of Social Work and has also completed an MBA in marketing and HR from the Loyola Institute of Business Administration.

Meanwhile, Paneesh Rao has now taken up a role as the global head of sustainability at Mindtree, which he had been planning to do for a while now, as revealed by sources close to the development. Rao will lead the environment, social and governance (ESG) for Mindtree, adding to the diverse set of experiences in his career.

With over three decades of experience, Rao has managed human resources across various fields ranging from manufacturing and consulting, to information technology (IT) and BPO. He has learned from and accepted various challenges in his long and fruitful career. From setting up HR functions from the ground up in several organisations, to taking over the reins in well-established HR systems, he has experienced it all.

Rao, who holds a master’s degree in personnel management from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), has global experience in managing HR across multiple countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, India, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, the UK and the US.

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