Phaneesh Murthy is CEO of iGate Global Solutions

Thursday, 31 July 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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A former Infosys executive who left the firm under a cloud following charges of sexual harassment was Wednesday appointed CEO of iGate Global Solutions, the local arm of the U.S.-based iGate Corporation.

BANGALORE: Phaneesh Murthy, who quit his post as Infosys' U.S.-based global sales and marketing chief in July last year to defend himself in a sexual harassment case, has also been included in the board of iGate, said a company statement.

iGate also announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Quintant Services, which was being advised by Murthy's California-based technology industry advisory firm Primentor.

"I look forward to building iGate into a global standard organisation through operational excellence, customer service and corporate governance," said Murthy.

Reka Maximovitch, a U.S. citizen who worked as Phaneesh's executive assistant in the U.S., brought the sexual harassment charge against Murthy last year.

Maximovitch accused her former boss of a long period of sexual harassment that caused her to leave the company. Murthy strongly denied the allegations.

Infosys Technologies, India's largest listed software services firm, announced in May this year that it had settled the sexual harassment case filed by Maximovitch against Murthy out of court by agreeing to pay $3 million.

Under the U.S. law, Infosys was also liable for the conduct of Murthy because he was an officer and a member of the board.

"iGate Global is on a growth curve now and we are confident that Phaneesh's vision, leadership and management capabilities will help achieve our objective of becoming a leader in the global services space," said Sunil Wadhwani, co-founder of iGate.

On the acquisition of stake in Quintant, iGate said it had purchased 51 percent stake in the company from the GMR group, which is into power and other infrastructure projects, in an all cash deal worth 869 million.

"Quintant has a differentiated service and we are singularly impressed by Phaneesh's professional approach. He understands both IT and ITES and our key objective was to get him," Wadhwani told a news conference here.

"He and the $120 million revenue of iGate would make an explosive combination," he said, adding the acquisition of stake in Quintant will propel iGate into the fast growing business process outsourcing space.

The integration of technology and operational capabilities of Quintant and iGate will enable evolution of a full services platform, Wadhwani said.

"GMR group exited Quintant because of new business opportunities that came a year ahead of schedule," Murthy said.

Wadhwani said that iGate would acquire the remaining stake that is currently held by the 70 employees in Quintant before formally merging it with his company.

Ashok Trivedi, co-founder of iGate, said: "Phaneesh has a burning desire to prove that his performance was just not a flash in the pan kind of things. And I will not bet against that."

Wadhwani and Trivedi credited Murthy with ramping up the sales of Infosys from around $2 million in 1992 to around $700 million in a decade.

iGate Global Solutions' net profit in the April-June quarter in the current fiscal year touched 77.1 million, down from 80.6 million logged in the same period in the previous year.

Revenues from operations in the quarterly period increased 58 percent to 1.43 billion as compared to 909.2 million.

The company employs over 3,000 professionals in 19 offices and its clients include GE, Bank of America, Philip Morris and 400 Fortune 2000 companies.

Source: IANS

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