BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover wife Madhuri Jain sacked, ESOPs cancelled

BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover wife Madhuri Jain sacked, ESOPs cancelled

BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover’s wife Madhuri Jain sacked, ESOPs cancelled

Madhuri allegedly used company funds for personal beauty treatments, buying electronic items and family trips to the US and Dubai, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told an agency. Besides, she also allegedly paid her personal staff out of company accounts and produced fake invoices from known or friendly parties, sources added.

BharatPe has sacked Madhuri Jain Grover, wife of the fintech firm’s co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover, over alleged financial irregularities and cancelled employee stock options (ESOPs) vested with her, a spokesperson said.

Madhuri allegedly used company funds for personal beauty treatments, buying electronic items and family trips to the US and Dubai, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told an agency. Besides, she also allegedly paid her personal staff out of company accounts and produced fake invoices from known or friendly parties, sources added.

While an email sent to Madhuri for comments remained unanswered, a company spokesperson confirmed the termination. “As per your query, we can confirm that services of Madhuri Jain Grover have been terminated in accordance with the terms of her employment agreement,” the spokesperson said.

While the spokesperson did not specify any reason behind the decision, the agency report quoting sources said the action follows an external audit commissioned by BharatPe board to look into the conduct of Grovers. Stock options vested with Grover’s wife have also been cancelled, they said adding the alleged financial irregularities have been detailed in the termination letter.

All eyes were now on the Grovers’ next move. Alvarez and Marsal, a leading management consultant and risk advisory firm, is set to submit its report into financial irregularities at the firm during Grovers’ time soon.

Global audit firm PwC was also roped in auditing the functioning of the fintech platform during the Grovers’ tenure. The newly-appointed BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer recently wrote a letter to disgruntled employees, saying there are some “serious allegations” based on internal complaints which are being reviewed and they must keep their faith in the Board. While many findings of governance review are “pretty standard”, there are “a couple of more serious allegations”, he wrote, saying the review is still “substantiating the allegations”. Sameer said whatever the Board decides, it will be in the best interest of employees, merchants and consumers.

After Grover, facing a controversy for allegedly using inappropriate language against Kotak Mahindra Bank’s staff, took voluntary leave till March-end, his wife also went on leave in January.

 

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