Kumar Mahadeva

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Kumar Mahadeva
Born Sri Lanka
Occupation Founder of Cognizant
Religion Hindu

Kumar Mahadeva (Tamil: குமார் மகாதேவா) was a Sri Lankan American founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Cognizant Technology Solutions.[1] He has held senior positions at BBC, McKinsey, AT&T, and Dun & Bradstreet.[2] He is of Sri Lankan Tamil descent.


Kumar holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge University(1973) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Role in Founding of Cognizant Technology Solutions[edit]

Cognizant has its roots in The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, a joint venture between Dun & Bradstreet (76%) and Satyam Computers (24%). Kumar Mahadeva played a major role in convincing D&B to invest $2 million in the joint venture.In 1996, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) spun off several of its subsidiaries including Erisco, IMS International, Nielsen Media Research, Pilot Software, Strategic Technologies and DBSS, to form a new company called Cognizant Corporation. Three months later, in 1997, DBSS was renamed as Cognizant Technology Solutions. In July 1997, D&B bought Satyam's 24% stake in DBSS for $3.4 million.[5][8] Headquarters were moved to the United States, and in March 1998, Kumar Mahadeva was named CEO of company. "cognizant". 

Resignation from Cognizant Technology Solutions[edit]

He resigned from Cognizant Technology Solutions in 2003. His exit from Cognizant was typical of him. One day, by some accounts, he stormed out of the boardroom, and that was it. A senior official would only give this as the reason: He is a different type of person. He suddenly decided ‘this is not the thing for me’, and he decided to go.

"Cognizant: Francisco D’Souza and his two mentors". 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cognizant Founder Kumar Mahadeva Named Operating Partner At New York PE Firm GRS Partners". VCCIRCLE. 2006-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Kumar Mahadeva". HarvardBusinessSchool. September 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-18.