BharatPe founder calls for removal of CEO from board – TechCrunch

BharatPe co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover has asked the board to remove CEO Suhail Sameer from the board in the latest in a series of notable events at the backed Indian fintech startup by Tiger Global.

Grover, who is the subject of an ongoing investigation whose preliminary findings suggest fraud, wrote in a letter to board members on Wednesday for Sameer’s removal from the board, although he did not did not provide an explanation.

“Now, in exercise of the authority conferred upon me by clause 3.7 of the SHA and clause 91.7 of the AoA, I hereby withdraw my appointment of Suhail Sameer as a director appointed by me to the board directors of the Company.”

“In light of this, I, Ashneer Grover, request the Company’s Board of Directors to complete the necessary processes to record the termination of Suhail Sameer’s tenure as director of the Company,” reads -on in the letter, the contents of which have been examined. by TechCrunch.

BharatPe did not immediately return a request for comment.

Indian newspaper Economic Times first reported about the letter. Earlier this week, the newspaper separately reported that Grover was seeking legal advice to protect its shareholding and its position within the company.

Grover, 39, said last month he was going on two-month leave after an alleged audio clip of a man making abusive statements and threatening his life during a phone call to a representative of Kotak Bank for not obtaining financing. buy shares in Nykaa IPO in e-commerce mode.

The clip, coupled with BharatPe’s long track record of abusive work culture, created enough pressure on the startup’s board to announce an investigation into, among other things, accusations of financial impropriety. brought against Grover and his wife, who heads the startup. checks.

Grover dismissed the audio clip in a tweet, which he has since deleted.

A preliminary investigation by Alvarez and Marsal (A&M) commissioned by BharatPe’s board of directors revealed fraudulent transactions, including payments to non-existent vendors as well as irregularities in invoices produced to substantiate expenses, Economic Times reported. . On Friday, India’s Mint newspaper shared more details about the “flagrant cases of fraud” discoveries at the practice.

Wednesday’s letter to board members escalates tension between Grover and Sameer, who succeeded Grover as chief executive last year. Mint also reported that the board decided to remove Grover from the company.

Grover and Sameer’s relationship has soured in recent months. The two stopped seeing each other several months ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. “I am pleased to appoint Suhail Sameer as CEO in recognition of the tremendous business growth he has achieved over the past year and his ability to lead from the front,” Grover said at the time of the appointment. by Sameer.

In an interview this week with India’s MoneyControl outlet, Grover said investors in the company “twisted armhim to go on leave and claimed that Sameer was ‘the board puppet’.

“Anyone who says anything baseless against me, I’ll get his house, his car and everything he built. I’m very clear on that. Stay away from repercussions if you say anything without a modicum of truth,” he told the outlet.

BharatPe, valued at $2.85 billion and which was until recently trying to raise a new funding round at $4.5 billion, is one of the fastest growing fintech startups in India. The company helps offline merchants accept digital payments and secure their working capital.

Comments are closed.