Reshuffle: Flipkart gets third CEO in 12 months

Bengaluru January 9 | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on January 09, 2017

Both the founders of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (left),will no longer be directly involved in day-to-day operations

Kalyan Krishnamurthy takes over; Binny Bansal appointed Group CEO

Flipkart, the country’s largest e-tailer, shuffled its top management yet again to get its third CEO in 12 months.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who currently heads Category Design Organisation, will take over from Binny Bansal to become the CEO of Flipkart.

An analyst who works closely with Flipkart said Binny Bansal may have been given the role of Group CEO by investors due to non-performance, which in turn affected the company’s ability to raise fresh funding to scale and grow.

Concurring with the view, another analyst who tracks Flipkart pointed out that the reshuffle reveals that Flipkart’s primary investor Tiger Global is getting restless. “In all fairness, Flipkart did fairly well in the last 5-6 months and established itself as the market leader. However, this move will see a huge dip in employee morale and will spark off another exodus from the company.”

In a statement, Flipkart said the new apex Flipkart Group Organisation structure will have Ananth Narayanan continuing as CEO of Myntra-Jabong and Sameer Nigam will continue as CEO of PhonePe.

Krishnamurthy, Narayanan and Nigam will report to Binny Bansal. Nitin Seth, currently the Chief Administrative Officer, will be the COO for Flipkart. In his new role, he will be responsible for Ekart and Customer Experience in addition to his existing role, leading HR and corporate functions for Flipkart.

Categories, Marketplace, Customer Shopping Experience, private label and marketing will continue to report to Krishnamurthy and the engineering organisation led by Ravi Garikapati will now report to him.

Last January, co-founder and CEO Sachin Bansal, relinquished his role to install fellow co-founder and COO Binny Bansal in the driver’s seat.

On the reshuffle, Binny Bansal said: The year “2016 has been truly an extraordinary year for Flipkart. We effected a complete turnaround of the business and consolidated our leadership position in e-commerce. Our execution engine is revved up...”

“This was also the year when Flipkart evolved as a group. We acquired Jabong mid last year and the consolidation is going on well. Myntra became a $1 billion GMV run rate company and achieved 80 per cent YoY growth. PhonePe has been another runaway success story with 40 per cent of all UPI transactions in India.

“We are now ready to build the Flipkart of the future as we continue on our journey of transforming commerce in India through technology. I am confident that this new organisation structure will deliver further value for Flipkart group.” One of the focus areas of the new organisation will be to build a portfolio of new, high value-creating businesses that are disruptive and will transform commerce in India.

To evaluate these opportunities and construct this portfolio of new businesses, Flipkart Group Org will have a Group Strategy function as well as M&A. The other key responsibility of Binny Bansal as Group CEO will be to oversee capital allocation across all the group companies, CEO selection and CEO compensation.

Flipkart Group is in the process of hiring a Group CFO and General Counsel and both of them will also report to Binny Bansal.

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Published on January 09, 2017
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