Bangalore: NASSCOM Chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan on Tuesday said iGATE board has taken a right decision to sack its President and CEO Phaneesh Murthy over alleged sexual harassment, emphasizing that a "quick and decisive" action in such incidents augurs well for the IT industry.

"A right decision has been taken. I think the decision reflects what IT industry standards for. It stands for the highest standards of governance and integrity," Natarajan told reporters on the sidelines of a NASSCOM event.
Natarajan said the board seems to have taken a bold decision before taking the action. "It is a very isolated incident and has no bearing in terms of what implications it has on Indian IT industry," he said.

iGate Corp on Tuesday sacked its Chief Executive Phaneesh Murthy for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate and alleged sexual harassment. The Indian IT industry has always stood by the highest standards of governance and integrity, Natarajan added.

A quick and decisive action taken in such an isolated incident, irrespective of whom the person is, augurs well for the industry, Natarajan said. "I do strongly believe that this industry wants to walk the talk," he added.
"In the recent past, I have visited several cities across India and conducted one-day workshops on sexual harassment because most companies have 30-40 per cent women employees. So, these are fundamental infrastructure we need to create," Natarajan said.
Being an industry body, NASSCOM demands the highest standards of corporate governance from members, Natarajan said.

On being asked how NASSCOM would act against an Indian IT company involved in such isolated incident, Natarajan said, "We do not interfere in the internal affairs of the companies but certainly we expect them to act, irrespective of Indian company or a multi-national company."

iGate Chief Phaneesh Murthy sacked

Outsourcing company iGate Corp on Tuesday sacked its Chief Executive Phaneesh Murthy for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate and alleged sexual harassment.
iGate in a statement said its board engaged outside legal counsel to investigate and found Murthy's failure to disclose relationship with a subordinate. "The board deliberated extensively on this matter," Sunil Wadhwani, co-founder and co-chairman of iGate, said in the statement.
"We recognize the significant contributions 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 Murthy to step down."
"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 Murthy had with a subordinate employee and a claim of sexual harassment," iGATE said in a statement.
The investigation, which is ongoing, has reached the finding that Murthy's failure to report this relationship violated iGATE's policy, as well as Murthy's employment contract, it said.

Phaneesh Murthy sacked by Infosys in 2002

Murthy, who was replaced with immediate effect by interim CEO Gerhard Watzinger, was forced to quit India's second biggest software exporter Infosys Ltd in 2002 following a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was settled out of court.

After leaving Infosys, Murthy founded a company that was bought by iGate. In 2011, he teamed up with buyout firm Apax Partners to conduct iGate's USD 1.2 billion purchase of much-bigger Indian rival Patni Computer Systems.


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