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Wipro Nears Settlement with Ex-Executives Dalal and Haque After Legal Tussle

Wipro is reportedly close to finalizing a settlement agreement with its former CFO Jatin Dalal and healthcare head Mohd Haque, who both joined competitor Cognizant. The development comes after a legal battle between Wipro and the ex-executives.

Wipro Nears Settlement with Ex-Executives Dalal and Haque After Legal Tussle

Wipro appears close to settling a legal battle with two former high-profile executives, Jatin Dalal and Mohd Haque, who both departed for rival IT services company Cognizant. According to a Times of India report, a settlement agreement is expected to be finalized within the week, potentially putting an end to the months-long legal saga.

 

The Source of the Dispute

The root of the conflict lies in the departures of Dalal and Haque to Cognizant. Dalal, who served as Wipro's CFO since 2015, abruptly left the company in November 2023 to become the CFO at Cognizant. Wipro is seeking Rs 25 crore (approximately $3.1 million) from Dalal, arguing that his move to Cognizant constitutes a breach of contract. This claim is based on the value of stock options granted to Dalal during his tenure at Wipro.

 

Mohd Haque, Wipro's former head of healthcare and medical devices for the Americas, also joined Cognizant in a similar move. However, Haque's departure violated a non-compete clause in his employment contract with Wipro, which restricted him from working for a competitor for a set period following his departure.

 

Legal Maneuvers on Both Sides

Wipro initiated legal proceedings against both Dalal and Haque. In Dalal's case, the company filed a lawsuit in a Bengaluru court. Dalal, however, challenged this by invoking his right to arbitration. On the other hand, Wipro's legal team, represented by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, argued in a US court that Haque's employment contract was never signed, rendering the non-compete clause unenforceable. They requested dismissal of Haque's arbitration claim and a transfer of the case to a California court.

 

The Impending Settlement

The reported settlement agreement would bring an end to these ongoing legal battles. The specific details of the agreement remain confidential, but it likely involves some form of financial compensation for Wipro.

 

A Period of Change for Wipro

The departures of Dalal and Haque came amidst a period of transition for Wipro. The company reported a disappointing financial performance in the last quarter, with a decline in both revenue and net profit. These executive departures added to the uncertainty surrounding Wipro's future direction.

 

Looking Ahead

The potential settlement with Dalal and Haque allows Wipro to move forward and focus on its core business. The company will need to address its recent financial struggles and develop strategies to regain its momentum in the competitive IT services market. While the specifics of the settlement remain unknown, it signifies a potential turning point for Wipro as it navigates this period of change.


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