National Post (Latest Edition)
Samsonite CEO resigns after falsely claiming he had a PhD
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.”