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Phaneesh Murthy joins BPM firm Sutherland as CEO of its IT services biz

After his unceremonious exit from iGate more than seven years ago, Phaneesh Murthy, once considered the poster boy of the IT outsourcing services industry, has staged a quiet comeback.

The former CEO of iGate, which was then a Nasdaq-listed IT services company, is learnt to have joined back-office services firm Sutherland Global Services as the CEO of IT Services and Healthcare IT Services. Though it is predominantly into business process management (BPM) services, US-headquartered Sutherland has been trying to build a strong IT services practice for some time, with limited success.

Founded in 1986 by Dilip Vellodi, the privately-held firm employs around 40,000-50,000 people globally, more than half of whom are believed to be located out of India and the Philippines.
An email sent to Sutherland seeking details did not get any response. Murthy could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

Although he is known for his strong business acumen and knowledge of technology sales and strategy, Murthy’s personal behaviour has landed him in trouble. In 2013, he was sacked from iGate following allegations of sexual harassment by a subordinate.

Murthy described the accusation as a ‘case of extortion’ though he conceded that he had had a ‘personal relationship with the said employee which was more than just friendship’.
Earlier, in 2002, Murthy was sacked over similar charges when he was head of global sales at Infosys. This time, it was his secretary who made the accusation. Murthy denied the charge and Infosys settled out of court for $3 million.

An alumnus of IIT-Madras and IIM-Ahmedabad, he shot into prominence during his stint as the head of worldwide sales at Infosys in the early 2000s. During his tenure, Infosys’ revenues jumped to over $700 million from just around $2 million in the early 1990s. Business Standard

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