Satyam questions police claim on fudged headcount | business | Hindustan Times
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Satyam questions police claim on fudged headcount

business Updated: Jan 23, 2009 22:06 IST

Satyam on Friday questioned the state police's claim that the company's employee numbers were inflated by over 12,000, saying there appears no basis for doubting the actual staff strength even as the new board committed to name a new CEO and CFO by next week.

"As of now, we believe there are 53,000 employees which is subject to verification and auditing," a Satyam spokesperson told PTI and said: "The board has confirmed that prima facie there appears to be no basis to doubt the same."

The new board, constituted by the union government after a Rs 7,800 crore accounting fraud was disclosed by Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju, met for the third time in 13 days.

An independent investigation process is expected to reaffirm the head count in the coming weeks, the company said in a statement, while controverting the serious doubts raised regarding the employee numbers by external authorities.

Andhra Pradesh CID had on Thursday informed a local court that Satyam's founder Ramalinga Raju had admitted that employees numbers were inflated by over 12,000, by which he drew over Rs 20 crore a month towards staff costs.

The meeting of the new board, chaired by Tarun Das, took a number of decisions for smooth business operation, arranging liquidity and assuaging clients. It also announced shortlisting the final three for the post of CEO and CFO and that a final decision would be taken in the next week.

"Robust" collection from receivables helped the board breathe easy, as it interacted with a number of investment bankers and a decision would be taken in the next few days as to who the banker would be.

Taking note of the demanding financial situation, board member Deepak Parekh said that funding arrangements are in the final stages of being concluded and would be formally announced before January 28.
Parekh also indicated that the immovable properties of the company, including campuses, could be mortgaged to raise funds, saying "they are free of any encumbrance."

On the hunt for new CEO and CFO, the board said: "This is a crucial decision for the company and its stakeholders."

"We fully recognise the urgency and importance to have the right person with the right experience and abilities (as CEO and CFO) to successfully steer the company through these turbulent times," it said
The board also said that the company was addressing customer issues and has spoken to two dozen key customers and individuals.

"A few large customers have already visited the company's development centres in India and have expressed their satisfaction on the team's commitment towards their projects," the statement said.
Satyam's director Kiran Karnik said: "There is a pronounced shift in customer's attitude. From being alarmed in the initial days, it has changed to a sense of cautious optimism. The planned actions will have a distinct impact on the customer confidence."