Phaneesh Murthy has had his share of both fame and controversy in a long and often glittering career as a global IT executive. However, his sacking as the chief executive officer of California-based iGate Corp may bring to an end his ambition of taking on India's IT biggies such as Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.
The board of iGate Corp, an information technology outsourcing services provider, has sacked Mr Murthy following an investigation into a claim of sexual harassment.
This is the second time when Mr Murthy, 49, has had to leave a company because of allegations of sexual misconduct. Mr Murthy was a rising star at Infosys - India's number two outsourcer - as its global head of sales before leaving in 2002 after a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the company, which made headlines at the time and was settled out of court.
After quitting Infosys, Mr Murthy founded a company called Quintant, which was bought by iGate in August 2003. He was named the chief executive officer of the company and later became its president in 2006. He was re-elected in 2010 and his term was about to end this year. The bulk of iGate's staff is based in India.
In 2011, Mr Murthy teamed up with buyout firm Apax Partners for iGate's $1.2 billion purchase Indian rival Patni Computer Systems, which was more than twice its size. The deal made iGate one of the largest IT companies in India.
Mr Murthy has been an outspoken critic of the IT industry's traditional billing model. He recently came out with a strategy to challenge the outsourcing sector's billing model by charging for results instead of basing fees on the time and labour put in by the armies of staff working for India's big firms. The strategy is meant to appeal to clients with less-certain budgets in a tough economy.
He did his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and received his B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.