iGate sacks Phaneesh Murthy
For not disclosing relationship with female colleague, alleged sexual harassment New Delhi (PTI): Outsourcing company iGate Corp on Tuesday sacked...
For not disclosing relationship with female colleague, alleged sexual harassment New Delhi (PTI): Outsourcing company iGate Corp on Tuesday sacked its Chief Executive Phaneesh Murthy for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate and alleged sexual harassment. He was sacked after allegations of sexual harassment from his female colleague Araceli Roiz, Head of Investor Relations at iGate on May 21. Murthy, an IIT-Chennai graduate holding an MBA degree from IIM-Ahmedabad, who was replaced with immediate effect by interim CEO Gerhard Watzinger, was forced to quit India's second biggest software exporter Infosys Ltd in 2003 following a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was settled out of court. iGate in a statement said its board engaged outside legal counsel to investigate and found Murthy's failure to disclose relationship with a subordinate. "The board deliberated extensively on this matter," Sunil Wadhwani, co-founder and co-chairman of iGate, said in the statement. "We recognize the significant contributions Murthy has provided over the past ten years in helping to establish iGATE as a leader in the IT industry... However, as a result of this violation of iGATE policy, we asked Murthy to step down." "The Board's decision was made as a result of an investigation by outside legal counsel, engaged by the Board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a relationship Murthy had with a subordinate employee and a claim of sexual harassment," iGATE said in a statement. The investigation, which is ongoing, has reached the finding that Murthy's failure to report this relationship violated iGATE's policy, as well as Murthy's employment contract, it said. After leaving Infosys, Murthy founded a company that was bought by iGate. In 2011, he teamed up with buyout firm Apax Partners to conduct iGate's $1.2 billion purchase of much-bigger Indian rival Patni Computer Systems. Second time in the dock Hyderabad: History seems to be repeating itself for Phaneesh Murthy, who has had his share of both fame and controversy in a long and often glittering career as a global IT executive. Murthy was a rising star at Infosys Technologies as its global sales head when allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against him, leading to his departure from the Indian IT giant in 2003. The lawsuit filed his executive secretary Reka Maximovitch was settled out of court. Interestingly, Murthy found himself in similar circumstances 11 years later when iGate Corp, for which he was CEO, sacked him on Tuesday following an investigation into a claim of sexual harassment. However, his latest sacking may bring to an end his ambition of taking on India's IT biggies such as TCS.A After leaving Infosys in 2003, Murthy set up company called Quintant, which was acquired by iGate in 2003. Subsequently, he was made CEO and later became president in 2006. He did his MBA from the IIM-A, and received his B.Tech degree from the IIT-Madras. A right decision: NASSCOM Bangalore (PTI): NASSCOM Chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan on Tuesday said iGATE board has taken a right decision to sack its President and CEO Phaneesh Murthy over alleged sexual harassmen. "A right decision has been taken. I think the decision reflects what IT industry standards for. It stands for the highest standards of governance and integrity," Natarajan said on the sidelines of a NASSCOM event here. "It is a very isolated incident and has no bearing in terms of what implications it has on Indian IT industry," he pointed out. "In the recent past, I have visited several cities across India and conducted one-day workshops on sexual harassment because most companies have 30-40 per cent women employees. So these are fundamental infrastructure we need to create," Natarajan said. NASSCOM as an industry body demands from members the highest standards of corporate governance, Natarajan said. Asked how NASSCOM would act against an Indian IT company involved in such isolated incidents, Natarajan said, "We do not interfere in the internal affairs of the companies but certainly we expect them to act, irrespective of Indian company or a multi-national company."
7 Dec 2019 1:00 PM GMT