Cognizant Chief Information Officer Sukumar Rajagopal has put in his papers, and plans on leaving the IT firm by the end of next month, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Mr. Sukumar, who was associated with Cognizant for the last 19 years, was also known informally as the “face and head of innovation” at the company.

“It’s really quite shocking… Mr. Sukumar played a huge role in outreach programmes and mentoring younger employees,” said an employee, who did not wish to be named.

Mr. Sukumar’s exit comes less than three months after the IT firm reshuffled its top management as part of a move to set the stage for the next CEO. In the reshuffle, Rajeev Mehta, who was part of the senior management, and R. Chandrasekaran, who was earlier Group Chief Executive (technology and operations), assumed bigger roles.

When contacted, a Cognizant spokesperson confirmed the development. “Yes, Sukumar Rajagopal has decided to move on to pursue his interests. He has made a solid contribution to the growth and development of Cognizant. We wish him the very best,” the spokesperson said.

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