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Cognizant Taps Intel CIO Archana Deskus To Join Its Board

"Archie" Deskus, currently Intel's CIO, was previously CIO at HPE and multiple other companies, and has a record of helping those companies restructure and improve their internal processes.

Worldwide professional services company and systems integrator Cognizant Technology Solutions, No.6 on the CRN SP500, has named rising Intel Chief Information Officer Archana "Archie" Deskus the newest member of its board of directors.

"I'm honored to be joining the board of Cognizant, one of the world’s leading professional services companies," said Deskus in a Twitter post. "This is a truly unique opportunity to work with a company that's transforming business, operating & technology models for customers through digital transformation."

Deskus brings to Cognizant a long history as a CIO for some of the leading companies in both the IT and non-IT industries.

[Related: 6 Things To Know About Intel's New CIO Archana Deskus]

They include CIO positions at Intel; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; oil field services company Baker Hughes; mission-critical air, fluid, energy, and other technology manufacturer Ingersoll Rand; clock and watch manufacturer Timex; and heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration manufacturer North America HVAC, part of Carrier Corporation.

Deskus in January joined Intel as chief information officer after a 2.5-year stint as HPE's CIO.

She started as HPE's CIO in October of 2017, and helped oversee HPE's massive IT restructuring which included moving from 1,000 business processes supported by 10 ERP systems and more than 950 applications to just 100 business processes with a single global ERP system with 350 applications.

A Cognizant spokesperson told CRN via email that the company does not make board members available to the press.

Intel did not respond to a request for further information by press time.

"Archana Deskus brings to the Cognizant board extensive experience as a CIO, setting and leading the technology strategy for large, global corporations," said Michael Patsalos-Fox, Cognizant's chairman of the board, in a prepared statement. "Her expertise in driving business transformation and innovation in large scale leading technology companies will be a great addition to our board."

The Cognizant board appointment comes as Deskus is leading the charge to help drive digital transformation data-centric solutions for Intel.

At Intel, Deskus is in charge of a global IT organization that had more than 5,400 employees at 22 Intel IT sites as of the end of 2018 to 2019, according to Intel's most recent IT report.

That IT organization is tasked with supporting roughly 107,000 total employees across 147 Intel locations in 56 countries. In 2018, Intel's IT spending per employee was $11,300, down from $12,100 the previous year and $12,700 the year before.

Deskus’ appointment to the board comes a month after Cognizant reported full fiscal year 2019 financials, including a 4.1-percent rise in annual revenue to $16.8 billion. Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries said during Cognizant's Feb. 5 financial analyst conference call that the company is entering 2020 with "renewed vigor and optimism."

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 101 on the CRN 2019 SP500, said he hopes Deskus’ appointment raises the awareness for Intel’s need to provide strong support and coverage for its channel partners.

“I would hope that this is a view into the future where partners like Future Tech that do hundreds of millions of dollars with Intel will get the proper support and coverage that has been lacking from Intel particularly with the CPU shortage,” Venero told CRN. “Intel is a key component to our business, and not having the proper coverage impacts our ability to drive forward the Intel message especially during times of shortages.”

Intel is in the midst of a CPU shortage that has impacted OEMs and partners.

During Intel's fourth-quarter fiscal conference call in late January, CEO Bob Swan said while the company is in "pretty good shape" when it comes to meeting demand for server processors, the double-digit growth of the company's Data Center Group in the fourth quarter "depleted our inventory level."

With "that kind of spike in demand, we're not perfect across all products or all SKUs," Swan said.

Intel chief financial officer George Davis said during that call that supply of both server and client CPUs is expected to improve in the second half of this year as the result of expanded production capacity.

"In the second half of the year we would expect to be able to bring both our server products and, most importantly, our PC products back to a more normalized inventory level," Davis said.

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