Infosys Dives Most in 6 Years as Whistle-Blowers Target CEO
Added 10-22-19 01:04:02am EST - “(Bloomberg) -- Infosys Ltd.'s shares plunged to a 10-month low after whistle-blowers accused Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh of leading an effort to shore up profits through irregular accounting, turning up the heat on an IT…” - Finance.yahoo.com
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(Bloomberg) -- Infosys Ltd.’s shares plunged to a 10-month low after whistle-blowers accused Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh of leading an effort to shore up profits through irregular accounting, turning up the heat on an IT services giant that endured internal turmoil just two years ago.
The stock fell as much as 16% Tuesday, wiping out 2019’s gains via its biggest intraday fall since April 2013. The letter, addressed to the board and published by the Deccan Herald, charged Parekh with “unethical practices” to boost revenues and profit in recent quarters, anonymous whistle-blowers wrote in a memo titled “Disturbing unethical practices.” The whistle-blowers also said recent big deal wins may have come with negligible margins. They asked the board to investigate and take action, offering to provide emails and voice recordings to support their allegations.
Chairman and co-founder Nandan Nilekani pledged a full investigation, saying the allegations had gone before the company’s Audit Committee. The memo dated Sept. 20 was the latest in a series of whistle-blower complaints that wrought havoc at Asia’s second most valuable IT services firm, triggering the exit of previous CEO Vishal Sikka after a confrontation with co-founder Narayana Murthy. The company, a symbol of India’s technological boom, had gained more than 15% of market value this year as it stabilized the business with a transition toward automation.
The allegations “could severely damage the company’s pristine brand if true, especially in the IT services industry,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anurag Rana wrote. “It could also hurt short-term sales, as clients may look for other providers for newer projects.”
Nilekani had only just proclaimed last year that Infosys had become “boring again.” The allegations come as Infosys and larger rival Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., which build software and provide services to some of the world’s largest banks and retailers, navigate an increasingly difficult business environment. The industry is grappling with a trend toward automation and rapid technology changes.
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