Udayavni Special

Infosys whistleblower: CEO accused of spending lakhs of company money on personal travels

Team Udayavani, Nov 12, 2019, 6:37 PM IST

Bengaluru: Weeks after IT major Infosys faced a whistleblower complaint alleging unethical practices by its top officials, another such letter has surfaced accusing the company’s chief executive officer Salil Parekh of indulging in misdeeds and urging its board to initiate action against him.

The whistleblower, claiming to be an employee working in the Finance Department, said he was submitting a ‘whistleblower complaint’ unanimously as the matter stated was ‘volatile’ and that he feared retaliation on disclosing the identity.

“I would like to bring to your notice a few facts that are eroding the value systems of my company. Being an employee and a shareholder, I think it is my duty to bring the misdeeds of the current CEO Salil Parikh to your attention with the hope that you will execute your responsibilities in the true spirit of Infosys and in favour of the employees and shareholders who have so much of faith in the company,” the undated whistleblower letter said.

Noting that the search firm hired to identify the next CEO after the exit of Dr Vishal Sikka stated very explicitly that the position was to be based in Bengaluru, the letter says “it is a year and 8 months since he (Parikh) joined this company, but still he is operating out of Mumbai. This is a basic violation of the original condition put at the time of shortlisting and selection. The CEO has to be based out of Bengaluru and not Mumbai. What is stopping the board of this company from insisting on his movement to Bengaluru?” the complaint addressed to the chairman, independent directors of the Infosys board and its Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC), questioned.

As the CEO has not yet relocated and he is visiting Bengaluru from Mumbai at least twice a month, and this has cost the company approximately Rs 22 lakh towards airfare and local transportation, it said.

“Four business class tickets per month plus home-to- airport drop in Mumbai, airport pick-up in Bengaluru and the same during the return journey. If the CEO has not relocated to Bengaluru, all the expenses need to be recovered from the CEO’s salary,” the whistleblower added in his complaint.

Last month too an anonymous group claiming to be employees of Infosys had written to the company’s board accusing Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy of indulging in ‘unethical practices’ to boost short-term revenue and profits, which the company is investigating.

Further noting that Parekh has taken an apartment on rent in Bengaluru with ‘malicious intentions’ just to ‘mislead’ the board and the founders of this company, the whistleblower said, “if you look at the records of his visits to Bengaluru, you can clearly see that he leaves Mumbai leisurely to reach Bengaluru and it is only around 1.30 pm that he reaches office”.

“He spends an afternoon in office and the next forenoon he is off to Mumbai by 2 pm.

This kind of involvement of the CEO in this company is the worst we have seen till date,” it said.

Further alleging that Parekh has made several personal investments into small companies in Mumbai and hence he is staying in Mumbai to have better oversight on his investments, the complaint states that this is a gross violation of value system and this needs to be investigated and suitable action for termination should be initiated.

Noting that he or she has heard that Salil Parekh keeps visiting the USA every month in order to retain his Green Card status, the whistleblower said, “I have also heard that he has on several occasions gone to the USA but has not visited any client or Infosys offices.”

“I have also heard that Salil Parekh is misusing his position as CEO of Infosys and getting in touch with several top-notch universities in the USA and promising funding.

These funding are in order to seek favours to get his children admissions to these universities,” the complaint alleged.

Further alleging that the CEO takes his bonus on time in April, but all others were given bonus in Jul/Aug 2019, indulging in creating confusion between people by playing petty politics, the whistleblower said, “I trust that you will initiate action in this matter and uphold the values you and the founders are known for.

Infosys has not made any comment on the matter, however, chairman Nandan Nilekani had earlier said in a filing that a board member received two anonymous complaints on September 30, 2019, one dated September 20, 2019, titled “Disturbing unethical practices” and the second undated and titled ‘Whistleblower Complaint’.

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