BharatPe Founder seeks removal of new CEO from board, firm says wait for audit

In Grover's absence, the fintech company had appointed Sameer as the CEO.

New Delhi: In a fresh twist to the ongoing BharatPe saga, the fintech platform’s Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover has now written to the company board asking for the removal of newly-appointed CEO Suhail Sameer from the board.

In a letter to the board, Grover, who has gone on voluntary leave till March-end over the controversy over him allegedly using inappropriate language against Kotak Mahindra Bank’s staff and BharatPe launching an independent audit of the company’s internal processes and systems, asked the Board for Sameer’s removal.

“I, now, in exercise of the power vested in me by Clause 3.7 of the SHA and Clause 91.7 of the AoA do hereby withdraw, my nomination of Suhail Sameer as a Director nominated by me to the Board of Directors of the Company.

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“In light thereof, I, Ashneer Grover request the Board of Directors of the Company to complete the necessary processes to record the cessation of the Directorship of Suhail Sameer as a Director of the Company,” Grover wrote in the letter.

In a statement on Friday, BharatPe said that it is “deeply pained that the integrity of the BharatPe board or individual board members is being questioned time and again”.

“The Board in all its actions has followed due process in the best interest of the company. We would urge that the confidentiality and integrity of the Governance review and board meetings is maintained by all,” the fintech platform said, adding that the Board is yet to receive any interim or final report of the review.

Earlier, reports surfaced that BharatPe had terminated Grover. But BharatPe said last week it has not terminated the services of any employee (including Grover) at this stage, and initiated an internal audit process.

“The Board remains committed to an independent and thorough audit process. No action has been taken or will be taken till the audit has been completed,” the company had said in a statement.

Through its legal firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, BharatPe has appointed Alvarez and Marsal, a leading management consultant and risk advisory firm, to advise the Board on its recommendations.

The Board of BharatPe is “committed to the highest standard of corporate governance at the company and is doing an independent audit of the company’s internal processes and systems”.

Grover has taken voluntary leave while his wife, Madhuri Jain Grover who is the Head of Controls at the fintech company, has also gone on leave after the controversy.

In Grover’s absence, the fintech company had appointed Sameer as the CEO.

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