Implementing its succession plan, IT training solutions firm NIIT Ltd today appointed Rahul Keshav Patwardhan as CEO designate, who will take charge on April 1 next year.

Its for the first time that a non-promoter has been appointed as the CEO of the company. NIIT was established in 1981 by Rajendra Pawar, Vijay Thadani and P Rajendran and Thadani was the CEO of the company since its inception.

The NIIT Board has approved that Thadani shall become Vice-Chairman and Managing Director and Rajendran shall become Joint Managing Director whereas Pawar shall continue to be the Chairman of the company.

A host of other companies including Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro have implemented the succession plan wherein professionals were given executive roles for running the day-to-day affairs of the company while promoters themselves held a non-executive position.

"Mr Patwardhan, who has joined today, shall take charge as Chief Executive Officer of NIIT Limited on April 1, 2015," NIIT said in a statement.

Patwardhan had earlier worked with NIIT group from 1984 to 2004 before joining as CEO of Logica India in 2005. He later moved to Europe headquarters of Logica as MD, Global App Services P&L business.

A production engineer, with an MBA from IIM Kolkata, Patwardhan joined NIIT in 1984 and began his career in management consulting, corporate and individual IT training and software services.

During the last part of his 20-year career with the NIIT group, he was the President of Europe and APAC software business in NIIT Technologies.

"We are delighted to have Rahul Patwardhan joining us as the next CEO of NIIT Ltd. He is taking on this role at a crucial time when the company is poised to expand the Managed Training Services business and consolidate and strengthen the individual learning solutions business across multiple domains," NIIT Chairman and MD Rajendra Pawar said.

Pawar added that the appointment is part of the implementation of the company's succession plan.

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