On Tuesday, while many were still coming to terms with news of iGate sacking its chief Phaneesh Murthy, company officials were busy asking employees to cocoon themselves from the outside world, especially the media, in a bid to limit the damage.
iGate employees in India received an email from the company's communication team at around 8 am, explaining the situation and telling them not to discuss it on social media, or talk to journalists.
The Fremont, California-based company followed it up with a web-based town hall for its employees in India, in which a pre-recorded audio message from its founder-promoters - Ashok Trivedi and Sunil Wadhwani - was played. In it, they explained the facts of the case to employees.
Senior managers told team members about the board's decision to sack Murthy, and asked them not to discuss it even with other employees inside the office, said staff at iGate's Bangalore campus, where about 7,000 people work.
With nearly $1 billion (about 5,500 crore) in revenues, iGate has around 30,000 employees, a majority of them in India.
On Wednesday, several iGate employees told ET, on condition of anonymity, that they were concerned about the company's growth after the exit of Murthy, who has been its face for most of the past decade.
iGate's India employees shocked
One of the employees, who worked at iGate's White Field office on the outskirts of Bangalore, said his team members were 'shocked' and had spent more time at the canteen and smoking zone than inside the office. "Everyone was stunned, but nobody was allowed to discuss it," he said.
Murthy, who joined iGate in 2003 after losing his job at Infosys for getting involved in a sexual relationship with his secretary Reka Maximovitch, is often credited with growing iGate from a little-known software firm to a billion-dollar company that challenged larger rivals such as Infosys and TCS.
Employees said his departure might see other senior-level exits, especially those groomed by him. "Phaneesh was popular among employees, and the fact is that we have lost a leader," said one employee.
But not all employees are shocked. Some said these events were part and parcel of the software industry. "Having a relationship with a subordinate is nothing new. In this industry there are many cases, some are reported while others are not," one of them said.
Murthy was a popular face at iGate's Bangalore campus, which he used to visit at least once a month. For many employees, especially the juniors at the software company who admired Murthy's shrewdness, his departure has been difficult to digest.