National Post (Latest Edition)

Samsonite CEO resigns after falsely claiming he had a PhD

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WASHINGTON • The world’s largest luggage company announced its chief executive was resigning eight days after a report accused him of falsely claiming a PhD on his resume.

Ramesh Tainwala, Samsonite’s CEO since 2014, stepped down from his role on Friday citing personal reasons, according to a company news release. On May 24, the short-seller Blue Orca Capital published a report claiming Tainwala had long described himself as a doctor with a degree in business administra­tion — despite never completing the program.

The Blue Orca report noted that a doctorate didn’t appear on Tainwala’s company bio. And Samsonite said that since the company’s initial public offering in 2011, it had always accurately described Tainwala’s educationa­l background.

But “the board also takes seriously the allegation that has been made about his academic credential­s,” the company said. “In considerin­g such resignatio­n, the board (reviewed) the facts related to this allegation and has determined that accepting Ramesh’s resignatio­n is in the best interests of the company and its shareholde­rs.”

The Blue Orca report found that Tainwala’s degree in business administra­tion from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati had frequently been cited in online biographie­s and other documents, including in Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg databases. And in a 2011 earnings call, Samsonite introduced Tainwala as “Dr.”

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