Infosys CEO referred to colleagues as Madrasis, claim Whistleblowers; Nilekani issues statement
New Delhi, Oct 22: A group of Infosys whistleblowers calling themselves "Ethical Employees" of the company charged CEO Salil Parekh of fudging the company's financials and inflating profits in the recent quarters, along with allegations of passing racist and misogynistic comment about various members of the board.
The whistleblower complaint by a group that calls itself "ethical employees" had alleged CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy were indulging in "unethical practices" to boost short-term revenue and profits.
Parekh allegedly referred to independent directors D Sundaram and DN Prahlad as "Madrasis" -- a slur often used to mock those from southern states -- IANS quoted unnamed employees as saying in a joint letter to the company board on September 20.
"The CEO told us, 'No one on the board understands these things, they are happy as long as the share price is up. Those two Madrasis (Sundaram and Prahlad) and diva (Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw) make silly points, you just nod and ignore them'," the letter added.
"We have high respect for all of you and bring to your notice the unethical practices of CEO in recent quarters. Same measures are taken up in the current quarter also to boost short term revenue and profits," the letter addressed to the board of directors dated September 20, read.
The whistleblowers said they have emails and voice recordings on these matters.
Infosys on Monday had said the whistleblower complaint has been placed before the audit committee as per the company's practice, and that it will be dealt with in accordance with the company's whistleblowers policy.
"The whistleblower complaint has been placed before the Audit Committee as per the Company's practice and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's whistleblowers policy," Infosys said in a statement.
Nilekani his statement on Tuesday, said the company was made aware of another letter (dated October 3) that was purportedly written to the Office of Whistleblower protection program, Washington DC.
"These complaints are being dealt with in an objective manner. The undated whistleblower complaint largely deals with allegations relating to the CEO's international travel to the US and Mumbai," Nilekani pointed out.
"Although we have not been provided with any of the emails or voice recordings, we will ensure that the generalised allegations are investigated to the fullest extent. Additionally, to ensure independence in these investigations, the CEO and CFO have been recused from this matter," Nilekani added.
Meanwhile, shares of Infosys fell as much as 16% today in early trade after the Indian software services exporter said it had received whistleblower complaints against company's executives, alleging "unethical practices".