Wife accuses Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu of neglect; he calls it ‘fiction’

Wife accuses Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu of neglect; he calls it ‘fiction’

Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO of the $5-billion software development business Zoho, has been accused by his wife Pramila Srinivasan of selling some of his firm stock and giving it to his sister and her husband without her knowledge and of abandoning her and their son with special needs.

The couple are currently going through a divorce case that Sridhar filed in California, US, in August 2021. According to a Forbes report, Pramila in a court document filed in January alleged that he transferred a big chunk of his Zoho stake as well as intellectual property to India, placing most of the shares with his sister and her husband without telling her.

However, community property law in California states that a spouse cannot discreetly dispose of assets without the other spouse’s approval while they are still in the marriage, Pramila’s lawyer John Farley has reportedly explained to Forbes.

Vembu denies charges

In a series of tweets on Tuesday (March 14), Vembu denied all allegations made by his estranged wife. “It is complete fiction to say I financially abandoned Pramila and my son. They enjoy a far richer life than I do and I have supported them fully. My US salary for the last 3 years has been with her, and I gave our house to her. Her foundation also is supported by Zoho,” he wrote in one of the tweets.

The couple lived in California for about 25 years, after which Sridhar return to Tamil Nadu in 2020. He has claimed that he wanted his son, now aged 24, to live in rural India, which, he believed would improve his health. “I felt the endless treatments he was under were not helping much and he would be better off in rural India, closer to loving people and helping to lift up people. She felt I was giving up. Our marriage collapsed under that stress,” he tweeted.

He has also denied making any such transfer as she has alleged. “I will say this unequivocally: I never ever transferred my shares in the company to anyone else. I lived in the US for the first 24 years of our 27 year history and much of what constitutes the company was built in India. That is reflected in the ownership,” he wrote in another tweet.

Vembu has also mentioned in one of the tweets that his son’s condition “destroyed” their lives and left him “suicidally depressed”. He has also blamed a relative for the “mess”.

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