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Sacking Phaneesh Murthy the right decision, says Nasscom

BT Online Bureau     May 21, 2013
Nasscom Chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan has said the iGATE board took the right decision to sack its President and CEO Phaneesh Murthy over alleged sexual harassment, emphasising that a "quick and decisive" action in such incidents augurs well for the IT industry.

iGate Corp sacked Murthy for not disclosing a relationship with a subordinate and alleged sexual harassment. Murthy was replaced with immediate effect by interim CEO Gerhard Watzinger.

Murthy was, earlier in 2002, forced to quit Infosys Ltd, India's second biggest software exporter, following a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was settled out of court.

"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," he said on the sidelines of a Nasscom event in Bangalore.

Natarajan said the board seems to have done a fairly thorough due deligence 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.

Natarajan said a quick and decisive action taken in such an isolated incident, irrespective of who the person is, augurs well for the industry. The Indian IT industry has always stood by the highest standards of governance and integrity, he added.

"I do strongly believe that this industry wants to walk the talk... 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.

Asked how Nasscom would act against an Indian IT company involved in such isolated incidents, 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."

Natarajan said that as an industry body, Nasscom demands from members the highest standards of corporate governance.

With inputs from agencies

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