Skip to main content

Satyam stock surges on new leadership

  • Story Highlights
  • Stock plummeted more than 70 percent after chairman's admitted inflating profits
  • India's fourth largest software services provider, it employs 53,000 people
  • Government taps leaders from technology, finance, law to form board of directors
  • Next Article in World Business »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Stocks of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., the Hyderabad-based company at the center of a massive corporate fraud case, surged Monday on news the new government-appointed board will pick a new chief operating officer.

Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju is shown Saturday being sent to prison in Hyderabad.

Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju is shown Saturday being sent to prison in Hyderabad.

The new board of directors will also decide at a Monday meeting the embattled company's next course of action, said spokeswoman Deepa Jayaraman.

The company's stock plummeted more than 70 percent after its chairman, B. Ramalinga Raju, admitted last week of inflating profits with "fictitious" assets and non-existent cash. On Monday morning, stocks rose close to 60 percent.

Raju, his brother -- Rama Raju, former managing director -- and Satyam's chief financial officer, Vadlamani Srinivas, face numerous charges, including criminal conspiracy.

The company is India's fourth largest software services provider. It serves almost 700 companies, including 185 Fortune 500 companies, and generates more than half its revenues from the United States. It employs some 53,000 people and operates in 65 countries. Video Watch the impact of this scandal »

Raju resigned Wednesday and confessed to padding company balance sheets. The practice began several years ago to close "a marginal gap" between actual operating profit and one reflected in the company's accounting books, he said, but continued for several years.

"It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," B. Ramalinga Raju said in a letter to the company's board of directors.

He said no board member was aware of what he was doing and he did not profit from the inflated accounts.

The deception came to light after he tried to plug the hole by getting Satyam to buy his son's construction companies. The acquisition was "the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones," he wrote in his letter.

The deal would have cost Satyam $1.6 billion -- but the company's board vetoed it. Stocks fell following the botched deal. Soon afterward, Raju came clean, saying he was doing so "with deep regret, and tremendous burden that I am carrying on my conscience."


The government stepped in and tapped leaders from three fields -- technology, finance and law -- to form the three-member board of directors.

"This is a vital stabilizing development for Satyam," the company said in a news release. "It is the best news we've received in the past few weeks."

CNN's Bharati Naik contributed to this report.

All About IndiaBusinessSatyam Computer Services Ltd.

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print