In its complaint, Wipro said Mohd Haque, who quit in June this year, had agreed to certain restrictions on his post-employment activities, including prohibition of work for a small set of Wipro competitors including Cognizant, for 12 minimum months after his employment ended.US-headquartered Cognizant competes directly with Wipro in the digital healthcare services field in which Haque worked for many years while at Wipro. Haque joined Wipro in 2010 as vice president (VP) of enterprise application services in Bengaluru.
“Haque began violating his non-competition covenants by working for one of these few prohibited companies, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, on or about August 1, 2023… Haque took every opportunity to hide from Wipro his upcoming employment with Cognizant and gain an unfair advantage over Wipro upon joining,” Wipro said in the complaint.
Haque ‘stole’ Wipro’s confidential information
Wipro’s complaint email also alleged that Haque was in possession of confidential information whereby he uploaded and emailed “seven files” containing confidential information from his personal Gmail account on or about June 20, 2023, that was flagged off by its IT team on June 22. “Shortly before his resignation was to be effective, Haque surreptitiously uploaded multiple Wipro files and sent them outside Wipro to his personal email account. Haque also misrepresented his intentions to Wipro on multiple occasions, untruthfully telling the company that he was not planning to work at Cognizant,” the complaint said.
Wipro’s counsel is said to have sent Haque a letter on September 29, 2023 reminding him of his contractual obligations to Wipro and the consequences for his breaches. Wipro has demanded a jury trial.
Upon Haque’s promotion to the role of Wipro’s senior vice president (SVP) and localisation as a US employee, he was eligible to receive more than $1 million in equity awards over many years, said the complaint filed in a US court. As per the agreement, Haque agreed that he would “be liable to pay Wipro” the value of American depositary shares (ADSs) or public sector undertakings (PSUs), as applicable, which would be computed by multiplying the total number of ADSs or PSUs awarded by the share price on the date of the particular award.
In the complaint, Wipro also alleged that Haque has neither repaid Wipro the remuneration he received during the last 12 months of his employment, nor the value of the ADS and PSU awards.