Profile 50 years old with 29 years of IT industry experience Phaneesh Murthy is an Indian technological businessman. He was made director of Infosys Ltd. In 2002, before leaving the company in 2003.
He was named the Chief Executive Officer iGATE Corporation in 2003, after the company acquired his new company Quintant. Murthy later became President in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010. The board of iGate Corp has sacked chief executive officer Phaneesh Murthy in 2013, following an investigation into a claim of sexual harassment.
The soft-spoken CEO, with salt-and-pepper hair, does n’t look the type who could leap off cliffs. But he’s done more than nosedive into the ocean. “Every year, I like to do something to provide extreme discomfort to myself. It helps me learn something new about my personality,” he says, chewing a mint candy as he talks. He has done sky-diving and driven a Formula One car on a race track.
He does n’t just crave action in recreation. Even when it comes to work, Phaneesh Murthy likes diving into the deep end.
Phaneesh Murthy is an MBA from IIM-A Graduate and received his B.Tech Degree from IIT-M.
Telegraph reported: “As a schoolboy, I wanted to become a doctor,” recalls the old boy of Bangalore’s Bishop Cotton School who now lives in California with wife Jaya and two teenage sons. But Phaneesh Murthy’s engineer father egged him on to go to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras — where he studied mechanical engineering — and then the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad.
The reluctant engineer from Karnataka spent his college days as a happy back bencher. At IIT, Phaneesh Murthy attended post-lunch classes only because the classrooms were air-conditioned. “We had a cool place to sleep in,” he remembers — although the afternoon siesta was not always uninterrupted. “My chemistry professor once told me I would get a crick in my neck sleeping the way I did,” he says.
Early Career – (Pre-2003)
When he graduated from IIM, the hottest jobs were in the fast moving consumer goods sector. But he says he did not find it intellectually stimulating to sell soaps. So Phaneesh Murthy opted to join a start-up firm — Sonata Software — in the sunrise IT industry. “I did not want to work in a regimented environment. At Sonata, my role was fluid — I did everything from sales to product management,” he recalls. His next job was to sell another IT start-up — Infosys Technologies — in the US market.
His career progressed within the Infosys company, and he served as Worldwide Head of Sales and Marketing, Communications, and the Product Solutions Group of Infosys Ltd. from 1995 to 2002. He served as a Director of Infosys (since May 2000) and as a Director of Infosys BPO Ltd. As the Global Sales Head of Infosys, he has been widely credited as the one who was responsible for taking the organization from just $2 million in revenues to $700 million in under 10 years.
At Infosys, Phaneesh Murthy was known as the man with the golden touch — under him the company’s revenues zoomed from $2 million in 1992 to $750 million a decade later. The flamboyant executive bagged prized customers such as GE and Nordstrom, got Infosys a Nasdaq-listing and earned a fancy eight-figure salary. In the company’s corridors, he was nicknamed the “other Murthy”, second only to top boss N.R. Narayana Murthy.
When Phaneesh Murthy quit his post as the California-based global sales head of Infosys Technologies in 2002, it was like the fall of a high priest.
In January 2003, Phaneesh Murthy founded and was a Consultant for Quintant Services Limited, a Business Services Provisioning company with a global services delivery model. He was co-founder of Primentor from July 2002 to August 2003.
Career At iGate – (2003-2013)
While Phaneesh Murthy knows that integration will be a tough job, he says he’s unfazed by the critics. “I have spent my whole life proving disbelievers wrong,” he claims. It reminds him of the time he joined Infosys as sales head, in charge of selling projects in the US, in 1992. “Everyone told me, ‘Boss, do staffing (that is, providing staff for other companies). It’s the best bet. A small Indian company can’t compete with IBM for projects’,” remembers Phaneesh Murthy.
That reminded us Italian media reporting alleging the pope’s resignation was linked to a secret dossier claiming there is a ‘gay network’ inside the clergy. Another case was happened to Shankracharya Jayendra Saraswathy Ji when his one time worshipper Jayalalitha ordered the arrest of him. At that time Jayendra Ji said that his 60 years ‘tapashya’ went in to vein with in a secon
Phaneesh Murthy joined iGATE Global Solutions Limited in August 2003 after the company acquired Quintant in late 2003. After joining iGATE, he played a key role in restructuring iGATE. He has been instrumental in positioning the services companies under the iGATE Global umbrella, thereby resulting in synergies between the various service offerings of iGATE Global Solutions Ltd. He has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of iGATE since April 1, 2008, and serves as the Managing Director of iGate Global Solutions Ltd. and iGATE Corporation. Phaneesh has transformed iGATE from a loss making, negative margins, to a growth company with profitability through Business Outcomes that is increasingly being adopted by Global customers.
Phaneesh Murthy is credited with the iGATE acquisition of Patni Computer Systems in 2011 in hopes that the combined companies become a Tier 1 organization. iGATE is a mid-sized company and Patni Computer Systems is more than double its size. The deal made IGATE one of the largest IT companies in India.
On 21st May 2013 iGATE Corporation announced that its board of directors has terminated him as a result of an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding a relationship that Phaneesh Murthy had with a subordinate employee and a claim of sexual harassment
iGATE has held golf tournaments at TPC Sawgrass which offer $100,000 in prizes to go toward charities. Phaneesh Murthy and his teammate Chip Perry took the top prize of $20,000. Murthy donated his $10,000 to Tiger Preservation.
Sexual harassment lawsuit and episodes(both in Infosys and now in iGate)
Phaneesh Murthy has had to face a sexual harassment lawsuit, which had been filed by his former executive secretary Reka Maximovitch. Maximovitch, a Bulgarian American national, had filed the lawsuit, complaining of sexual harassment. His then employer, Infosys, settled the lawsuit out of court for $3 million. He strongly denied the accusations throughout proceedings.
Another sexual harassment episode led the board of iGate to sack Phaneesh Murthy from the post of the President & CEO on 20th May 2013. The board’s decision was made as a result of an investigation by outside legal counsel, engaged by the board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a relationship Mr. Murthy had with a subordinate female employee and a claim of sexual harassment.