Sacked iGate CEO denies sexual harassment claims

Phaneesh Murthy defends himself in a media conference call, labeling the accusations from his subordinate "an easy way to collect money", but admits he did not disclose his inter-office relationship at the first opportunity.
Written by Mahesh Sharma, Correspondent on

Sacked iGate CEO and President Phaneesh Murthy believes there was no merit to claims of sexual harassment by the company's 31-year old investor relations head Araceli Roiz.

Roiz's lawyers had filed a written complaint with the Nasdaq-listed, Indian outsourcer last week, according to a report in Times of India.
phaneesh murthy
Phaneesh Murthy, former CEO and President of iGate.
Murthy, during a media conference call, said: "The charges are completely false. They have an easy way to collect money. It's the same lawyer and law firm who represented the other woman in 2002 [when Murthy was accused of sexual harassment at his former employer Infosys]. Now, do you think the odds are different."
He noted both of them had entered a "personal relationship" months ago, but this was only communicated to the chairman "several weeks ago".
"The timing of the information to the chairman is, I believe, what they considered as the grounds for my termination…Perhaps I should have informed the chairman earlier than when I did," Murthy said.
He added the board did not provide an opportunity to present his side of the story.
On Tuesday, the board fired Murthy for violating company policy and his own contract, by concealing a relationship with an employee. The board's on-going investigation has not uncovered any violation of iGate's harassment policy, iGate said.
Nasscom chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan supported iGate's move to terminate Murthy's employment, calling it the "right decision", in an ET Now report on Tuesday.
"This is a one off case and the industry is known for its highest standards of governance," Natarajan said.
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