Former Head of the Investor Relations to sue him, iGate.
By R. Chandrasekaran
CHENNAI: Former president and chief executive officer of iGate Phaneesh Murthy’s woes are getting complicated after he was shown the door unceremoniously a few days back on charges of sexual harassment.
Now, Araceli Roiz, the Head of the Investor Relations of iGate, with whom Murthy had an affair and kept it under wraps, has come out with the allegation that he had tried to force her to undergo an abortion after she became pregnant, and when she refused, asked her to leave the company.
Murthy had termed earlier the company’s and Roiz charges of sexual harassment as fabricated, but Roiz’s startling revelations will further damage the image of Murthy.
In a rejoinder to the company’s accusations, Murthy had earlier disclosed that he had started a personal relationship with Roiz only a couple of months back. However, the California-based law firm, Aiman-Smith & Marcy, charged that Murthy had started taking advantage of Roiz immediately after she entered iGate in May 2010.
Murthy had to inform his board only after Roiz had threatened to take legal action against him and her lawyers reached his counsel. The board also seems to have learned this from other sources by then, the law firm charged.
Aiman-Smith & Marcy also termed Murthy’s comments that Roiz and her lawyers are engaged in extorting money as defamatory and a wicked attempt to blame the victim. They said they are going to sue him and iGate, on behalf of Roiz.
Murthy was also involved in a similar sexual harassment case when he was with Infosys in 2002, with charges by two of his employees, Reka Maximovitch and Jennifer Griffith. The matter was settled after paying compensation, reportedly around $3 million. He faces a tough challenge again.
If this is a precarious situation for the disgraced former official of iGate, the company is also facing more trouble, as it faces investigation from Bronztein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC, to find out whether any of its employees had violated the federal securities laws. This follows after the company’s stock dropped 9.6 percent on May 21.
The latest case had surely dented the image of Murthy as well as iGate. The company faces also the task of finding a replacement for him and many analysts think that his leaving has created a void at least in the near term. For Murthy, the road ahead will be much more arduous.
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