Infosys whistleblower complaint: Aside from unethical practices, CEO Salil Parekh also alleged of regionalist, sexist slurs

  • D Sundaram, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd; and D N Prahlad, Founder and CEO of Surya Software Systems Private Limited, ar independent directors of Infosys

  • Biocon chairperson Shaw is an independent director on the Infosys board

  • Another complaint being raised in the letter is Parekh's weekly trips to ECity and Mumbai on company expenses

After a whistleblower letter stating alleged financial misconduct and “unethical practice” against Infosys Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh and chief financial officer Nilanjan Roy, there are allegations of racism and sexism against Parekh levelled at in the letter.

"The CEO told us, no one in the board understands these things, they are happy as long as the share price is up. Those two Madrasis (Sundaram and Prahlad) and Diva (Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw) make silly points, you just nod and ignore them," according to the whistleblower's complaint, media reports said.

D Sundaram, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd; and D N Prahlad, Founder and CEO of Surya Software Systems Private Limited, are independent directors of Infosys.

Biocon chairperson Shaw is an independent director on the Infosys board.

Another complaint being raised in the letter is Parekh's weekly trips to ECity and Mumbai on company expenses.

 Infosys whistleblower complaint: Aside from unethical practices, CEO Salil Parekh also alleged of regionalist, sexist slurs

Salil Parekh, CEO and MD, Infosys. Image courtesy - company.

"CEO spends two and half days in a week in Ecity and rest in Mumbai. All his travel expenses are paid by the company, for these weekly personal trips. He is green card holder and avoids deduction of taxes during his US travel which is non-compliance. Please check and details will be provided (sic)," the whistleblower letter to the Infosys board, according to a report in Business Today.

"Parekh and Roy have been resorting to unethical practices for many quarters, as evident from their e-mails and voice recordings of their conversations," said the complainants, who called themselves 'ethical employees' in a two page letter to the city-based IT behemoth's board of directors on September 20, a copy of which has been accessed by IANS.

Though the letter was sent to the board on 20 September, there was no response from the board. It was then that an unnamed whistleblower on behalf of the unethical employees on 3 October wrote to the US-based office of the Whistleblower Protection Programme, alleging willful mis-statement material accounting irregularities for (the) last two quarters (April-September).

In response, the company in a statement on Monday said the whistleblower complaint had been placed before the audit committee as per the company's practices.

"The complaint will be dealt with in accordance with the company's whistleblowers policy," the IT major said in a statement.

Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani said the anonymous whistleblower's complaint into alleged financial misconduct and “unethical practice” is being dealt with by the IT major in an objective manner. In a statement released today, Nilekani said, “will ensure whistleblower allegations are probed to the fullest extent,” he said.

Nilekani said one board member had received two anonymous complaints on 30 September 2019—one dated 20 September 2019, titled “Disturbing unethical practices” and an undated note with the title, “Whistleblower Complaint”, a PTI report said.

He said both had been placed before the audit committee on 10 October 2019, and before the non-executive members of the board the following day.

"In (the) last quarter (July-September), we were asked not to fully recognise costs like visa costs to improve profits. We have voice recordings of these conversations," claimed the letter.

The employees also alleged that in the quarter under review of fiscal 2019-20, the management put immense pressure on them to not recognise reversals of $50 million of upfront payment in FDR contract, as it will slash profits for the quarter and negatively affect the company's stock price. The letter said not recognising reversals of upfront payment in FDR contract was against fair accounting practice.

"Critical information is hidden from the auditors and board. In large contracts like Verizon, Intel and JVs (Joint Ventures) in Japan, ABN Amro acquisition, revenue recognition matters are forced which is not as per the accounting standards," said the letter.

--With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 22, 2019 13:02:54 IST