Sex scandal grounds Phaneesh Murthy's comeback stint with iGate

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 22 2013, 18:37pm hrs
Phaneesh MurthyPhaneesh Murthy. (Reuters)
IT'S dj vu for Phaneesh Murthy, as he rushed in to try and defend himself once again against sexual harassment charges, hours after the board of directors of iGate Corporation terminated his employment.

Just over ten years ago, Murthy was a rising star at Bangalore-based software major Infosys Technologies Ltd and seen by many as on track to be the companys first non-founder chief executive before a sexual harassment lawsuit in the US abruptly ended his tenure.

An IIT-IIM alumnus, Murthy rose through the ranks of Infosys to become the head of its global operations. The 49-year-old techie-turned-business executive, however, fell from grace in 2002 when Infosys forced him quit the company after a charge of sexual harassment by his personal assistant.

After Infosys, Murthy founded a company Quintant Services that was bought by Nasdaq-listed iGate. In 2011, he teamed up with buyout firm Apax Partners to conduct iGates $1.2 billion purchase of much-bigger Indian rival Patni Computer Systems. iGate shares, and revenues, are estimated to have more than quadrupled since Murthy joined the company in mid-2003.

The stock has gained 4 per cent in 2013, lagging the S&P 500 IT consultancy subindex, which is up 8.8 per cent, according to Reuters data. Murthy was widely being touted as the comeback man, spearheading iGates sizzling growth story, only to be disgraced with what appears to be a replay of the 2002 episode.