Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal quits over allegation of serious personal misconduct

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 13, 2018

"The allegations left me stunned", said Mr Bansal, who was chief executive of the Flipkart Group from January previous year.

The head of Walmart Inc's Indian venture Flipkart Group, Binny Bansal, has resigned following a probe into "serious personal misconduct", a shock to the USA retailer's efforts to compete with Amazon in India's huge consumer market.

In a letter sent to Flipkart employees, he said "the allegations left me stunned".

Walmart said Bansal chose to step down as a "recent event risked becoming a distraction".

Walmart in a press statement said the "independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct" did not find anything amiss or anything improper by Binny, but he is still leaving because the whole affair is "distracting".

"The investigation, however, did bring to light lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how I responded to the situation", he said.

Walmart said while the investigation "did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant's assertions against Bansal, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation". The company accepted Mr Bansal's resignation, which takes effect immediately, the statement noted.

Walmart said Binny Bansal had been contemplating a transition for some time and that the companies had been working together on a succession plan, which had now been accelerated.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy will remain the CEO of Flipkart, which now includes the Indian fashion and lifestyle e-commerce portal Myntra and Jabong, which will continue to operate as a separate platform within Flipkart Group, according to the release. Flipkart is in a fierce tussle with rival Amazon.com Inc.as millions of Indians embrace e-commerce, with both retailers pushing to attract consumers with massive discounts and exclusive products. He had been appointed group CEO in January a year ago and had previously held the roles of chief executive officer and chief operating officer.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart, will continue to lead the company with the added responsibility of overseeing the two subsidiaries - Myntra and Jabong - and will report directly to the board.

Bansal will, however, continue to hold his stake in Flipkart, which stands at around 5 per cent. Following is the statement released by Walmart on Bansal's exit.

Walmart paid $16 billion for a roughly 77 per cent stake in Flipkart in May. Ananth was earlier with consulting firm McKinsey & Company and came to Myntra as CEO in October of 2015.

"As we look ahead, we have full confidence in the strength and depth of leadership across the company".

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