Polycom Keeping Mum About SVP Put On Leave Or Galleon Connection

A Polycom spokesperson told Channelweb.com Monday that the company wouldn't be offering additional comment beyond a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last week that confirmed Bhalla had been put on leave.

Polycom was among the companies identified by the SEC as having had its securities traded by Galleon Group using inside information. Federal investigators continue to expand their investigation into the Galleon case, which earlier this month saw the arrest of Galleon's founder, billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, and has implicated several high-ranking tech executives, including IBM senior vice president Robert Moffat and Intel executive Rajiv Goel.

One of the SEC's complaints states that a senior Polycom executive provided information to an informant known as Tipper A -- since identified by The Wall Street Journal as former Galleon employee Roomy Khan -- about Polycom's earnings. Khan is said to have shared that information with Rajaratnam, and Galleon traded on Polycom securities with that information in hand.

Polycom indicated in an SEC filing Friday that Bhalla had been placed on leave. The filing language does not give a reason for Bhalla's leave and Polycom said it would not comment to Channelweb.com on whether Bhalla is connected to the Galleon Group probe.

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Polycom sent Channelweb.com a statement last week as the details of the Galleon Group case were still being confirmed.

"Polycom has strict rules and policies against any employees divulging confidential insider information and we completely support government action against anyone who breaks these rules," the company stated. "We will provide any and all assistance needed to the authorities to fully support this investigation."

Bhalla, whose bio hasn't been changed or moved from Polycom's Web site, is senior vice president and general manager of Polycom's voice division -- one of the company's highest-profile positions, reporting to Polycom President and CEO Robert Hagerty. According to the bio, Bhalla joined Polycom in February 2000 after executive positions at Polaroid, Computervision and Digital Equipment Corporation.