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‘Got training…’: Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu after facing trolls over row with estranged wife


A day after Zoho co-founder Sridhar Vembu rejected allegations of abandoning soon-to-be ex-wife Pramila Srinivasan and their special needs son as per a report by the US-based Forbes, he thanked those who extended him support amid ‘vicious’ trolling. Taking a swipe at the online mob, he tweeted on Wednesday that he was grateful for the ‘real-time training’ on how to handle internet trolls. Asserting that he will continue to do his work, he added that the incident has made him ‘stronger’.

He wrote, “I am truly grateful for the outpouring of support. Thank you. I am also thankful that I got free real-time training on how to face a vicious online mob. What the mob doesn’t get is it only makes me stronger. And I will continue my work.”

The Forbes report had claimed that Vembu was withholding his wife and son’s fair share by transferring a huge portion of his Zoho stock which led to the majority of stake being held by his sister and her husband. According to Srinivasan, this transaction took place without her knowledge or consent. Vembu, however, refuted the statements calling it ‘complete fiction’.

Also read: Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu explains how India can make companies like Apple, Google

Adding that he never divested his shares in Zoho to anyone else, the software tycoon took to Twitter on Tuesday and clarified, “I lived in the US for the first 24 years of our 27-year history and much of what constitutes the company was built in India. That is reflected in the ownership. It is complete fiction to say I financially abandoned Pramila and my son. They enjoy a far richer life than I do and I have supported them fully.”

Vembu and his wife had been residing in California for close to 25 years with their son, who he said in his tweet thread was diagnosed with autism. In 2020, he relocated to a village in Tamil Nadu. As per Forbes, this shift was to fulfil him of generating employment opportunities in rural areas and promoting knowledge sharing among employees. After 29 years of marriage, he filed for a divorce from Srinivasan in August 2021.

He continued on Twitter that his US salary for the last 3 years and his house were given to Srinivasan. Accusing his uncle Ram for the current legal mess, he said that his personal life had been a tragedy unlike his professional life. The 15-year-long fight against autism had even left him ‘suicidally depressed’, he wrote.

“We have lived this tragic personal life. Now due to my uncle Ram’s falsehoods, the tragedy has added a messy legal dimension. I have always supported Pramila and my son and will continue to support them as long I live. I am confident truth and justice will prevail,” he added.

Zoho’s value is pegged at nearly $5 billion, according to Forbes. Vembu’s sister Radha, a product manager at Zoho, is the biggest stakeholder in the company at 47.8 per cent, which is valued at $2.2 billion. Vembu’s brother Sekar owns 35.2 per cent of the company, which is worth $1.6 billion. Vembu owns $225 million worth shares of 5 per cent in the company. The family is worth at least $4 billion and was ranked No. 48 on Forbes’ 2022 list of India’s 100 Richest.

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