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Exclusive: Suhail Sameer manipulated me into going on leave, says BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover

BharatPe founder Ashneer Grover has added a new layer of controversy, calling CEO Suhail Sameer the board's puppet, as communication lines among founder, CEO, board members and employees seem to have broken down.

Delhi, Mumbai / February 05, 2022 / 09:34 AM IST

BharatPe's embattled founder in exile Ashneer Grover attacked the fintech's CEO Suhail Sameer, accusing him of siding with the startup's investors to oust him, in an interview with Moneycontrol, signifying an irretrievable breakdown in relations.

While Grover and the company have attempted to strike a conciliatory note in public so far, this is the first time that the differences are so open and obvious, even as there is growing scrutiny on the company's governance and business practices. This also underscores what sources have been saying in the last week, that the board is not keen to have Grover back.

While Grover took a leave of absence till March-end amid backlash regarding his abusive language to a Kotak employee, toxic culture at BharatPe, and brash behaviour, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, who headed controls, also went on leave last week. BharatPe’s board and external consultants are conducting a forensic investigation into the company’s practices, including accounting, approval processes, expenses, and hiring.

In a nearly 80 minute interview, Grover, at first calm, and then combative, called Sameer a puppet of investors, alleging a larger conspiracy behind sending him away and instituting a probe.