Home / News / India /  Sridhar Vembu's wife accused him of abandonment of her and their child

Sridhar Vembu, the co-founder of Zoho, a business software provider valued at nearly $5 billion by Forbes, recently left California to settle in Mathalamparai village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

As per a news report by Forbes, his decision was motivated by his goal to create employment opportunities in rural areas and promote knowledge sharing among his employees. Vembu's contributions to the community have earned him accolades, including the Padma Shri award, one of India’s highest civilian honors, and praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, reports suggest that Vembu's departure from California was not solely due to his vision for rural initiatives.

Zoho co-founder Sridhar Vembu, who recently relocated to a village in Tamil Nadu, filed for divorce from his wife of 29 years, Pramila Srinivasan, in August 2021.

According to a source close to Srinivasan, Vembu notified her of his desire for a divorce via WhatsApp in November 2020.

In the divorce case filed in California, Srinivasan accuses Vembu of intentionally disposing of a large portion of his Zoho stake in a complex transaction that transferred Zoho's intellectual property to India and eventually resulted in the majority of the shares being held by his sister and her husband, without informing or seeking consent from Srinivasan.

“My husband of 29 years not only abandoned me and his son with special needs in 2020," Pramila Srinivasan stated in a January court filing.

Her statement further read, "He decided to make fictitious transfers or ‘sales’ of our most valuable community asset to his family members without their paying any cash or other consideration, and without ever telling me or asking my permission."

Meanwhile, Pramila Srinivasan’s lawyer, John Farley, commented that “the community property law in California does not allow a spouse during marriage to secretly dispose of assets without obtaining the other spouse’s consent. After all ‘community’ property in effect means jointly owned-a duty to be transparent with your spouse and not to engage in secret transactions to try to evade the 50-50 legal requirement."

Vembu's sister Radha, a product manager at Zoho, owns the largest stake in the company at 47.8%, which is valued at $2.2 billion. Vembu's brother Sekar owns 35.2% of the company, which is worth $1.6 billion. Vembu himself only owns 5% of the company, which is worth $225 million. Together, the family is worth at least $4 billion.

The family was ranked No. 48 on Forbes' 2022 list of India's 100 Richest, with Sridhar's name listed as the founder and CEO, likely due to his prominence in the company.

Forbes attempted to contact Radha and Sekar, but was unable to reach them. Vembu’s lawyers declined to comment. In a deposition, Ram Srinivasan, the siblings’ paternal uncle, claimed that Radha holds the shares for Vembu and that “Sridhar asked me to hold it."

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