Cognizant appoints Walmart’s Becky Schmitt as Chief People Officer

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Cognizant has appointed Becky Schmitt as its new Chief People Officer. Her assignment will commence on February 1, 2020, after the current CPO James Lennox retires. The announcement was made by Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Brian Humphries in an e-mail to employees.

Becky Schmitt

Becky is currently the senior vice president and Chief People Officer at Sam’s Club, a $59 billion division of Walmart, where she oversees the employee experience and career development of 100,000 associates across nearly 600 locations. Prior to that, she was CPO for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce and corporate functions. She brings 24 years of experience in developing talent and designing and delivering modern, market-leading HR strategies globally.

Brian Humphries in a letter to employees said, “I’m writing today to announce an important leadership transition. Jim Lennox, our Chief People Officer (CPO), EVP, and member of the Executive Committee, let me know four months ago that he planned to retire from Cognizant at the end of this year, capping off an extraordinary 16 years with our company. Over recent months, Jim has helped lead the search for his successor, which we have just completed.”

Mr.Humphries further wrote, “To succeed Jim, I am pleased to announce that we have hired Becky Schmitt as our new EVP and Chief People Officer. Becky joins the Executive Committee, reporting to me, and will be based in New York City. She brings 24 years of experience in developing talent and designing and delivering modern, market-leading HR strategies globally. Her experience includes more than 20 years with Accenture.”

Cognizant has said it will lay off 13,000 employees in the coming months out of which 5,000 would be reskilled to be assigned into new roles.

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