Flipkart's Binny Bansal Quits As CEO After "Personal Misconduct" Probe

Binny and Sachin Bansal, creators of FlipkartImage Hemant Mishra  Mint via Getty Images

Update: Some more information has come in regarding the resignation of Binny Bansal.

Flipkart co-founder and Group CEO Binny Bansal has resigned after a probe reportedly found him guilty of serious personal misconduct, reported Reuters news agency. The succession plan has now been accelerated, said the company, as Bansal had been contemplating a transition for some time. Ananth Narayanan, who is the CEO of Myntra and Jabong, will continue in those roles and will now report to Krishnamurthy.

The website that began as an online bookstore now sells consumer goods ranging from soaps to smartphones and clothes and is the largest e-commerce player in an Indian e-commerce market that could be worth $200 billion within a decade.

CNBC-TV18 quoted Walmart sources as saying that they first learned about the allegation of misconduct in late July and that the allegation was not made by an employee of Flipkart. As recently as October, he said in an interview that he was still in charge of Flipkart and would remain group CEO after the Walmart acquisition.

The exit of Binny over allegations of a "serious personal misconduct" comes as a surprise, even though there were murmurs that Binny would eventually have to call it quits after Walmart took over Flipkart.

The US-based retailer, however, added that the investigation found no evidence to corroborate the allegation against Binny but it did reveal "other lapses in judgment" on his part.

"Flipkart will continue to invest heavily in supply chain, innovation and technology, with a focus on optimising operations, and empowering employees".

Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, Walmart said.

While the Walmart and Flipkart statement doesn't talk about what exactly happened, what were the allegations and what sort of the personal misconduct was investigated, there is talk that someone within the company had complained against Binny.

"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.

Sachin Bansal left the company shortly after the deal with Walmart.

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