Flipkart co-founder resigns after allegations of personal misconduct

Binny Bansal (File Photo)

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal has resigned as the company’s group CEO, following an internal investigation conducted by both Flipkart and its parent firm, Walmart, into an allegation of ‘serious personal misconduct,’ the two companies said in a joint statement.

Bansal, 37, has strongly denied the allegations, the company said in a statement.

Binny Bansal, in an email to Flipkart employees after his resignation on Monday, said he will continue to be on the Flipkart board as one of the largest shareholders. He quit as Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after an investigation into an alleged “serious personal misconduct”.

Denying the allegations levelled against him, Binny wrote: “These have been challenging times for my family and me”. However, the Flipkart co-founder did not elaborate on the nature of the allegation made against him or the alleged lapse on his part

Going forward, Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, which will now include Myntra and Jabong, continuing to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business. Ananth Narayanan will continue providing great leadership as CEO of Myntra and Jabong, and will report into Kalyan, the statement said. Sameer Nigam will continue leading PhonePe as CEO. Both Kalyan and Sameer will report directly into the board.

“Binny has been an important part of Flipkart since co-founding the company, but recent events risked becoming a distraction and Binny has made a decision to step down. His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of the Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct,” read the statement.

“Nevertheless, we had a responsibility to ensure the investigation was deliberate and thorough. While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign,” the joint statement read.

Binny has been contemplating a transition for some time and we have been working together on a succession plan, which has now been accelerated.  As we look ahead, we have full confidence in the strength and depth of leadership across the company. We remain committed to investing for the long-term and are supportive of the leadership team’s desire to evolve into a publicly-traded company in the future.

“While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation,” the company said.

“Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign.”

Walmart earlier this year agree to pay $16 billion for a roughly 77 percent stake in the Indian e-commerce firm, Amazon’s main rival for India’s 1.3 billion consumers.

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