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IBM Files Lawsuit Seeking Repayment of Bonuses from Ex-Thailand General Manager

New York-based business and tech giant IBM has filed a lawsuit against its former top executive in its Thailand subsidiary for a return of a $470,000 bonus. According to the lawsuit filed in a New York federal court on Monday, IBM stated that former Thailand general manager, Patama Chantaruck breached her employment contracts with the company when she decided to resign and join Accenture in Thailand as its Managing Director.

During her period as general manager of IBM in Thailand, she received various equity awards from IBM for ensuring the confidentiality of activities of the company. The company reportedly gave her $470,000 for safeguarding confidential company information and not engaging in “competitive conduct within specific time periods.”

The company is now demanding that she should return to the company as Patama Chantaruck engaged in competitive conduct by joining Accenture in a senior role. According to IBM, they have the right to revoke equity awards if Chantaruck participates in “harmful activities,” which includes working for competitors within a specified timeframe.

In the lawsuit, the company claims that it canceled and rescinded the equity awards to Chantaruck and demanded repayment of $470,220.96 by November 1. The deadline for repayment was later extended to January 9. Patama Chantaruck failed to make the payment by either deadline and denied the claims and allegations by IBM.

Accenture based in Dublin is one of the largest business consulting firms in the world. IBM and Accenture are considered business competitors in the consulting sector. According to its official website, Accenture started its operation in Thailand in 1978 and currently serves 250+ clients in 19 industries across the Southeast Asia region.

Who is Patama Chantaruck?

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Patama Chantruck who is a renowned business executive in the Southeast Asia region worked with Microsoft for 20 years before joining IBM in 2018.

At IBM, she was VP for Indochina Expansion and Managing Director of IBM Thailand. In 2022, she resigned from IBM due to some unknown. A few weeks after quitting IBM, she joined Accenture Thailand in April 2022 as country managing director.

She was listed as one of the Bangkok Post’s 24 Women of the Year in 2021. She was also a 2020 Finalist for the Lifetime Achievement Global Award of Women in Tech and Female Executive of the Year 2018 Stevie Award Winner.

She completed her MBA in international finance from Washington State University in 1995.

About IBM – IBM or International Business Machines Corporation is a multinational technology company that offers hardware, software, and consulting services to businesses and governments worldwide.

About Accenture – Accenture is a global professional services company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations services to clients in various industries and sectors across the world.