3 top bosses quit as Kalyan Krishnamurthy takes over Flipkart

Right after Flipkart annunciated Kalyan Krishnamurthy, its new chief executive officer, three top-level executives have left the country’s largest e-commerce marketplace.

Saikiran Krishnamurthy, the head of Ekart; Surojit Chatterjee, senior vice-president of product management; and Samardeep Subandh, chief marketing officer, have all left the company according to sources.

The exits are part of Kalyan Krishnamurthy’s clean-up operation at Flipkart, which began under co-founder and former CEO Binny Bansal last year. He has been mandated to cut losses while still growing the overall business in order to fend off an attack from global rival Amazon. Flipkart spokespersons declined to comment on the developments.

All three executives had joined Flipkart in 2015 at hefty compensation packages, at a time when the company was focused on hiring top talent. Since the start of last year, several highly-paid executives left the company, after investors began putting pressure on rationalising costs and the company missed goals.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy’s elevation to the position of CEO is itself seen as a move forced by investors, particularly Tiger Global, where he was employed before returning to Flipkart in June last year. There could be more senior level exits in the months to come as Krishnamurthy puts together a leadership team of his choice.

“This is a global practice but no one likes to talk about it. When you have a new captain, he will pick and choose those he is comfortable with. Sometimes this takes some time, but Kalyan has been a part of the system at Flipkart through Tiger Global,” said Harminder Sahni, founder and managing director at Wazir Advisors.

Alongside reorganising the company’s corporate structure and appointing a new CEO, Nitin Seth was elevated to the position of COO and head of Ekart. Seth replaced Saikiran Krishnamurthy, pushing the latter into an undefined role with Group CEO Binny Bansal’s office. The new group structure will see Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra and PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam reporting to Binny Bansal.

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