PwC Partner Resigns Amid Satyam Computers Issue
PricewaterhouseCoopers’s managing partner and markets and industry leader at its Indian office has resigned amid the heated issue on Satyam Computers.
Jairaj Purandare, 51, PwC’ India’s managing partner who was contending for the chairmanship, confirmed his resignation but refused to shed light on the reason behind his move.
For seven years, the partner had been in PwC India, which audited Satyam Computers in 2009 during the lead-up to the accounting scandal that hit the IT services firm.
In a statement to the Economic Time, Purandare said he was considering “various options” that have not yet been finalized.
Speculations began annexing Purandare’s resignation to the controversial Satyam Computers accounting scandal, which broke out in January 2009.
In February this year, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) said it would take disciplinary actions against auditors from PwC India who were involved in Satyam Computers scandal.
The ICAI branded PwC auditors as having been “negligent” in their roles when out of Rs 8000 crore (US$177), Rs 6000 crore (US$133) went missing.
At issue was the allegation from the Central Bureau of Investigation that PwC auditors had received bribes from Satyam to manipulate its reports about the company’s accounts.
ICAI concluded that the previously arrested PwC partner Subramani Gopalakrishnan and Satyam Computers internal auditor V S Prabhakar Gupta should be held accountable as the Supreme Court has cancelled their rights to bail following fraud allegations in the Indian IT services provider.
The two were immediately arrested upon discovery of the accounting scandal.
Prior to Purandare’s resignation, PwC’s tax expert Dinesh Kanabar resigned in 2010, along with 17 other partners, allegedly due to the Satyam Computers controversy.
This was succeeded by another major exit by three more partners who left the accounting firm in April this year.
But PwC India watered down speculations that the successive resignations were connected to the accounting scandal, saying the exits were prompted by greener pastures awaiting the partners outside of the firm.
In a statement, PwC India chairman Deepak Kapoor said: “It is unfortunate that Jairaj Purandare has decided to leave PwC India. We appreciate the significant contributions made by him as a member of the India leadership team, in the seven years he spent with us. He established our markets and industries programme and as the western region office managing partner, was instrumental in the success of the Mumbai and Pune region. We wish him all the success in his future endeavours.”
Purandare was Ernst & Young India’s chairperson before joining PwC India. More previously than that, hewas the Country Head of the Tax & Regulatory practice of Andersen India.