iGate Global Solutions has sacked its CEO Phaneesh Murthy over sexual harassment charges. This is the second time the IT industry veteran has been involved in a sex scandal.
“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 Mr Murthy had with a subordinate employee and a claim of sexual harassment,” the statement said.
However, in a conference call with reporters, Murthy denied sexual harassment charges and said he would contest it in court if the employee files a lawsuit. Murthy also maintained that he had informed the company about his personal relationship with the subordinate employee, but the issue arose because of ‘timing.’
Here is all you need to know about Phaneesh Murthy:
Phaneesh Murthy is an almni of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.
Phaneesh Murhty joined Infoys in 1992 as a marketing manager of US markets. He rose to become the head of Infosys’ worldwide sales and marketing. He also became one of the youngest directors on its board.
He resigned these posts in June 2002, after his executive secretary Reka aximovitch complained of sexual harassment and wrongful termination of her employment. The company’s share price declined by 6.6% soon after Phaneesh left.
The company had paid $570,000 to Phaneesh Murthy as part of the final settlement of his dues.
Infosys settled the case out of court by paying $3 million to the plaintiff.
Analysts claimed that the company had kept the issue under wraps for a long time. Though Phaneesh Murhty denies he was party to settlement, Infosys insists he was.
“Phaneesh did not disclose to the company management, as an important functionary, that he had a relationship with Maximovitch and also of the fact that she had filed in the court for a restraining order against him,” Infosys Chairman NR Narayana Murthy had said at a press conference in 2003.
According to a report in the Hindu Business Line, Phaneesh was often called the ‘other Murthy’ of Infosys and had many admirers within and outside the company. He was also the highest paid executive in the company with a take home package of Rs 2 crore.
In January 2003, he founded Quintant Services Limited, a BPO company based out of India, which was acquired by iGATE Global Solutions Ltd.
He became chief executive officer of iGATE Global Solutions in August 2003.
He was appointed director in 2006 and was appointed as president and CEO in 2008. In 2010, shareholders again elected him as a director. His term was to end this year.
He is also a board member of Patni Computer Systems, which iGate acquired in 2011.
With 29 years of industry experience, he is considered a veteran in the IT industry. iGate thrived under his able leadership.
He is credited with winning for Infosys its first million-dollar contract in 1994.