Ashneer Grover writes to BharatPe calling out CEO’s behaviour on LinkedIn, demands Rajnish Kumar’s resignation
- The development comes after CEO
Suhail Sameerresponded to a comment by Ashneer Grover’s sister on LinkedIn.
- Sameer noted that the company did not have any money to pay salaries since her brother, Ashneer, stole it all.
- Ashneer Grover was stripped of all
BharatPetitles last month for alleged “misappropriation of company funds”.
AdvertisementAshneer Grover — the former founder, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of BharatPe — has written to the board of the merchant payments platform, calling out the existing CEO Suhail Sameer on his “unprofessional” behaviour on social media. He also sought chairperson
The development comes only after a former employee of BharatPe had taken to LinkedIn to raise issues over BharatPe’s failure to pay timely salaries and clear dues. While Sameer did not respond to the employee, he did comment on the post responding to Ashneer grover’s sister’s comment.
Suhail said, “Aashima Behen - tere bhai ne saara Paisa Chura liya [your brother stole all the money]. Very little left to pay salaries.”
Ashneer Grover was stripped of all BharatPe titles last month for alleged “misappropriation of company funds”. His wife Madhuri Jain was also let go over the same allegations.
“Suhail's reply is not only blatantly defamatory, it is inappropriate language towards any female on social media and tone deaf to the trials of a poor admin level employee seeking his dues. It is also blatantly public lie [sic] and admission of the Company being bankrupt by no less than its own CEO and member of the Board – the same Suhail Sameer had less than couple of months ago claimed more than $ 500 million in the bank account of the Company,” Grover said in the email to board members of BharatPe.
The email was seen by Business Insider.
The letter was marked to investors including Micky Malka of Ribbit Capital, Teruhide Sato of BEENEXT, Hashjit Sethi of Sequoia Capital, John Weinstein and Deven Parekh of Insight Partners and Rahul Kishore of Coatue Management. He was also marked to chairperson Kumar, CEO Sameer and cofounder Shashvat Nakrani.
Once again Ashneer Grover pointed fingers at Rajnish Kumar, the former chairperson of State Bank of India (SBI) and the current chairperson of BharatPe. “As a Board which under the Chairmanship of Rajnish Kumar has claimed to be the epitome of corporate governance, I would want to ask what action the Board is going to take against Suhail Sameer?,” Grover said.
Grover demanded that BharatPe should immediately issue a show cause notice against Sameer and put him on leave of absence to manage to “damage on the Brand [sic] of the company.” BharatPe had sent Grover on a leave of absence after an audio recording was leakes where Grover was allegedly heard hurling abuses at a Kotak Mahindra employee. Kotak Mahindra had confirmed that the conversation did happen.
He further added that if Sameer did not provide a written apology to him or his sister, they may seek damages and pursue a criminal defamation case against the board of BharatPe and CEO Sameer.
AdvertisementBusiness Insider has reached out to BharatPe seeking their response to the letter.
Here is the full unedited transcript of letter:
Dear BharatPe Board Members
I wanted to inform you about the behaviour of Suhail Sameer - CEO BharatPe in social media today, which has led him to be trolled on LinkedIn, Twitter and across all the newspapers. His behaviour is unbecoming of any professional and brings disrepute to the office he occupies with tacit support from all of you. I am attaching screenshots of what he said in a reply to my sister on LinkedIn. The Indian Board members should help translate the literal meaning of the statement along with the demeaning tone to the foreign Board members. He said: “Aashima Behen - tere bhai ne saara Paisa Chura liya. Very little left to pay salaries”. This was in response to a post put by an employee in admin team who was terminated without reason and whose salary / reimbursements was not paid for months - making him desperate to seek his dues on social media. Suhail's reply is not only blatantly defamatory, it is inappropriate language towards any female on social media and tone deaf to the trials of a poor admin level employee seeking his dues. It is also blatantly public lie and admission of the Company being bankrupt by no less than its own CEO and member of the Board - the same Suhail Sameer had less than couple of months ago claimed more than US$ 500 Mn in the bank account of the Company.
As a Board which under the Chairmanship of Rajnish Kumar has claimed to be the epitome of corporate governance, I would want to ask what action is the Board going to take against Suhail Sameer ? Going by precedents and self proclaimed high standards of this Board, the CEO should be immediately served a show cause notice for his despicable public behaviour and immediately put on leave of absence to manage the damage on the Brand of the company. Suhail has to conclusively prove to the Board that he was not under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he put the said reply on LinkedIn. The said reply was put in the wee hours of 7th March after a night of drunken debauchery by Suhail at BharatPe’s offsite in Goa, videos of which are attached for your perusal and all over social media. Moreover Suhail Sameer’s all dealings should be audited by an independent auditor and he should only be reinstated as CEO once the audit report has been tabled with the Board and exonerates him of any wrong doing. Anything lesser in terms of action here would undeniably prove what is a fact - that what was done to me was a well planned discriminatory conspiracy by the Board at behest of investors, not a governance review.
Moreover the Chairman Rajnish Kumar should immediately resign. The current incident clearly brings out the fact that Rajnish Kumar condoning the life threat to me by Bhavik Koladiya from his own house and all the planned media leaks leading to my resignation in self respect, has further emboldened the current management to act as hooligans. They feel they have a carte blanche from the Board and its Chairman to target me and my family without fear of any repercussions, even at the cost of the Board’s decency. It also proves that in the Governance Review which was supposed to be all encompassing, the Chairman refused to look into the allegations made against Suhail altogether, further leading him to believe he is above everything. More importantly it proves Shashvat’s refusal to withdraw Suhail’s nomination as a Board member was bad judgement in light of his proven alcoholism and attitude towards women.
I hereby seek a written apology from Suhail to me, my sister and the Board. In absence of a written apology I and my sister reserve our rights to seek damages and pursuing criminal defamation against Suhail Sameer and the BharatPe Board. My sister, whose reputation has been irreparably damaged by this comment, will also be in her right to take up this with the Women’s commission and appropriate authorities.
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