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Oh God, Not Again: Whistleblower Levels Fresh Allegations Against Infosys CEO

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IF even God cannot change numbers of Infosys, certainly He can send another letter through a whistleblower, questioning the inaction of its Chairman Nandan Nilekani in initiating action against CEO Salil Parekh for his misdeeds in fresh allegations leveled against him, which any devotee would not refute.

Nandan, a few days back, had famously said that even God cannot change numbers of the company, in full support of the current management, after the whistleblowers’ allegations had rocked Infosys.

Stock market connections

Jokes apart, yet another whistleblower from Infosys has accused Parekh for having stock market connections and investing in several firms, due to which the CEO stays in Mumbai, instead in Bengaluru, to have a better oversight on his investments.

“This is a gross violation of the company’s value system and has to be investigated and action for (Parekh’s) termination should be initiated. Will the company allow such a deed by other employees? If not, then why spare the CEO? What is the toothless NRC (Nomination Remuneration Committee) doing?” asked the whistleblower.

The complainant also accused Parekh for operating from Mumbai in violation of the condition that the CEO has to be based in Bengaluru and the company incurred exorbitant costs towards his airfare and local transportation.

“Though it is a year and 8 months since Mr Parekh joined the company, he operates from Mumbai in violation of the condition that the CEO has to be based in Bengaluru and not Mumbai. What is stopping the board to insist on his movement to Bengaluru,” said the whistleblower in an unsigned and undated letter to Nandan and Independent Directors on the Board.

Cost escalation

The whistleblower alleged that Parekh, despite being given two months time to relocate to Bengaluru, did not do so, and the company incurred Rs 22 lakh towards his airfare and local transportation.

“Four business class tickets per month plus home to airport drop in Mumbai, airport pick-up in Bengaluru and drop on the return journey,” alleged the whistleblower.

The whistleblower alleged that Parekh is a smart cookie who took an apartment on rent in Bengaluru with malicious intentions to mislead the board and the company’s founders.

“Parekh is a smart cookie. He has taken an apartment on rent in Bengaluru to hoodwink people who may question him, but that does not mean he has relocated to Bengaluru. He has done this with malicious intentions to mislead the board and the company’s founders,” the complainant said.

The whistleblower argued that it was right to expect from Parekh to pay for his transport from home to office and back, as all the employees do.

Referring to Parekh’s record of visits to Bengaluru, the whistleblower said Parekh leaves Mumbai at 10 am and reaches Bengaluru by 11.30 am and office by 1.30 pm.

“Parekh spends an afternoon in office and next forenoon he is off to Mumbai by 2 pm. This kind of involvement of the CEO in the company is the worst that we have seen till date. This, unfortunately, is not setting the right example for other employees to follow. Incidentally, it has become the norm. Many people have started working from home and nobody to ask them any questions. Even if tough managers want to ask questions, how would they as the CEO himself is working from home,” the whistleblower said.

Culture of company

The complainant also alleged that Parekh was eroding the value systems of the company. “Hope that you will execute your responsibilities in the true spirit of Infosys and in favour of employees and shareholders who have so much of faith in the company,” the complaint said.

Infosys, however, did not respond to the whistleblower’s complaint till the time of releasing this news breaking story.

This is the second letter written by whistleblowers to the board on September 20 after a few anonymous employees had accused Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy of unethical practices.

Whistleblower protection

They also wrote to the US-based office of the Whistleblower Protection Programme, alleging willful mis-statement material accounting irregularities for April-September quarters on October 3, after there was no response from the board to their letter.

The whistleblower claimed that he is an employee of $11-billion company’s finance department and feared retaliation for the damning disclosures if he discloses his identity.

“I am an employee working in the finance department. I am submitting this whistleblower complaint as the matter is so volatile that I fear retaliation if I disclose my identity. Please excuse me for the same, but the matter is of grave importance,” said the employee in the complaint.

As an employee and a shareholder, the whistleblower said it was his duty to bring to the notice of the chairman and the board a few facts about Parekh that were eroding the value systems of the company.

“Hope that you will execute your responsibilities in the true spirit of Infosys and in favour of employees and shareholders who have so much of faith in the company,” the complaint said.

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