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Phaneesh Murthy Sacked with Sexual Harassment Charge

Tech services company iGATE Corporation (NASDAQ: IGTE) announced Monday, May 20, that its Board of Directors has decided to terminate the employment of president and CEO Phaneesh Murthy.

Concurrently, the Board has appointed Gerhard Watzinger as president and CEO on an interim basis. All changes are effective immediately.

However, the company’s website (pictured below) continued to show Murthy as its CEO even today, May 21 – at the time of posting this story.

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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.

iGATE Corporation

iGATE Corporation

The investigation, which is ongoing, has reached the finding that Mr. Murthy’s failure to report this relationship violated iGATE’s policy, as well as Mr. Murthy’s employment contract. The investigation has not uncovered any violation of iGATE’s harassment policy.

Murthy, an Indian tech executive, is known for his ‘extreme love’ for female colleagues. He has faced sexual harassment charges before also – in 2002 – when he was working at a top position with another tech company Infosys. At that time also, he had to leave the company unceremoniously.

“The Board deliberated extensively on this matter,” said Sunil Wadhwani, co-founder and co-chairman of the Board of iGATE. “We recognize the significant contributions Mr. 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 Mr. Murthy to step down.”

A search committee within the Board of Directors has been created, which will oversee the process for the identification and selection of a new president and CEO, iGATE said in a statement issued Monday, May 20.

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