CEO of World’s Largest Luggage Maker Resigns After Resume Scandal

On Friday, world’s largest luggage maker Samsonite announced its CEO stepped down following allegations that he lied on his resume.

A research report issued by U.S.-based activist investment fund called Blue Orca Capital LLC, a week earlier said that Samsonite chief executive Ramesh Tainwala had falsely claimed on his resume that he earned a doctorate in business administration from Union Institute and University of Cincinnati.

Samsonite said he will be replaced by CFO Kyle Gendreau.

At the sixth annual Hong Kong edition of the Sohn conference on Wednesday, Soren Aandahl, founder Blue Orca, called out Samsonite’s chief executive in front of more than 300 people saying he misrepresented himself for years as a doctor.

“It doesn’t get simpler than this: If you’re not a doctor, you can’t go around saying you’re a doctor,” Mr. Aandahl said on stage in front of more than 300 people at the conference. “You can’t do it at a restaurant, you can’t do it on an airplane, you can’t do it on a dating website. And you definitely can’t do it if you’re the CEO of a major public company.”

Aandahl said he found at least 73 biographical references that labeled the name as a doctor.

Samsonite said the resignation was in the company’s best interest after its board reviewed Blue Orca’s report.

Should the company investors care about the resume padding? Tainwala hasn’t confirmed whether or not he possesses a doctorate, even though he was designated as a ‘Dr.’ in the previous company filings. The ‘Dr.’ designation appeared alongside Ramesh Tainwala’s name in at least two regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission more than a decade ago, in addition to some regulatory documents in India.

Successful People Who Lied on Their Resume

Ramesh Tainwala isn’t alone in losing his job over a lie on the resume. Numerous other head honchos have lost their career in the past.

In 2012, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was ousted after it was found that he padded his resume with an embellished college degree, ending his four month term at the company. In 2002, Kenneth E. Lonchar lost his CFO job at Veritas software for lying about his educational credentials.

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine had been unceremoniously terminated from his food network show Dinner Impossible for claiming that he – helped bake cake for the fairytale wedding of Princes Charles and Princess Diana, held the title of Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and his friend Queen Elizabeth II, had given him a castle. Big resume lies of these degree typically remain undiscovered.

Resume fraud is a rampant problem in today’s workplace. Companies continue to see a discrepancies between what’s written on the CV and what an employer reports when conducting employee verification.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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