Wipro Settles Dispute with Former CFO Jatin Dalal

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Wipro Ltd has reached a settlement with its former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Jatin Dalal, ending a contentious nine-month legal battle. The resolution comes as Dalal’s new employer, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, agreed to pay approximately half a million dollars (₹4.2 crore) to settle the lawsuit and cover his legal fees.

The settlement, approved by Cognizant’s Compensation and Human Capital Committee on July 2, 2024, resolves allegations by Wipro of Dalal’s breach of non-compete and confidentiality agreements upon joining Cognizant. Wipro had sought damages and injunctive relief, leading to arbitration proceedings earlier this year.

According to reports, Cognizant’s payment represents a fraction of the ₹25.1 crore initially demanded by Wipro, suggesting a considerably reduced settlement amount. Shriram Subramanian of InGovern Research noted that Cognizant likely covered all costs related to Dalal’s transition, including legal expenses.

Jatin Dalal, who served as Wipro’s CFO since April 2015, announced his resignation in September 2023, shortly before joining Cognizant. Wipro subsequently filed a complaint in a Bengaluru court, asserting Dalal’s violation of contractual restrictions against working with competitors within a year of leaving the company. The dispute was referred to arbitration in January 2024.

This settlement marks the second major resolution under Wipro’s new CEO, Srinivas Pallia, who took office in April 2024. Earlier reports had indicated Wipro’s intent to settle disputes with former top executives following Pallia’s appointment.

The agreement with Dalal follows a similar settlement involving Mohd Ehteshamul Haque, formerly Wipro’s head of healthcare and medical devices, who joined Cognizant in mid-2023. Wipro had initiated legal action against Haque in a New Jersey court, accusing him of breaching non-compete clauses by joining a competitor shortly after leaving Wipro.

With both disputes now resolved, Wipro continues to focus on its operational performance, reporting $2.66 billion in revenue for the March 2024 quarter. The company is set to announce its financial results for the quarter ending June 2024 on July 19.

As of July 8, 2024, all claims and actions related to the disputes have been formally dismissed, marking the conclusion of these legal proceedings for Wipro.

For more updates, stay tuned to developments as Wipro navigates its post-settlement strategy under new leadership.

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