Rost Raises Questions, and Shares Documents, About the Sale of Pfizer’s Hyderabad Facility

Moving from sales and marketing to the realm of finance, Peter Rost has received, and posted, documents from Ashok Idnani, a former insider within Pfizer's financial organization,  who says that he had repeatedly questioned the transactions involved in the sale of a drug manufacturing plant in Hyderabad. The facility, he alleges, was sold for $3 million, a fraction of its value.  The property would now be worth over $40 million. Idnani had suspected that there might have been kickbacks, but could find and has no documents proving anything on that score. Rost begins covering this story today on Question Authority.  Mr. Idnani says that he was abruptly terminated one year after raising questions about the sale and sharing documents with senior management (he had raised questions informally several years before that point) and that pay and bonuses had been withheld for several months after he was terminated.  He also says that he had been with the company for 28 years, is now unemployed and has sent emails to Rost via an Internet cafe. His final advice to would-be whistleblowers is as troubling as the image of a once loyal employee being treated as Idnani says he was, "Don't be smart.  If seniors are defrauding the company, look away."  Pfizer has not responded to any allegations so far.  Its dealings may have been entirely legitimate. Or not.  But Rost's presence as a former insider is clearly attracting people from the industry, or formerly from the industry,  who need to talk.  One imagines that Rost is also being deluged with sob stories from people bearing grudges.  He deserves credit for listening, and for attempting to sort the wheat from the chaff.  News media, even with legions of fact checkers, can't always do this adequately. There could one day be a danger of imposters sending fake documents---if volume picks up, Rost might one day have to link up with some media organization, or hire some fact checkers to wade through and authenticate reams of documentation. But, whatever the outcome or ultimate merits of this story as it unfolds, three cheers for transparency, corporate governance and Web 2.0.