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Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal Resigns With Immediate Effect After Investigation Into Personal Misconduct

Walmart Inc, which had acquired the online retailer less than six months ago, said it has accepted Bansal’s resignation because it had found a lack of transparency in how Binny responded to the situation.

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Updated:November 13, 2018, 9:46 PM IST
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Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal Resigns With Immediate Effect After Investigation Into Personal Misconduct
File photo of Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.
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New Delhi: Flipkart’s founder and group CEO Binny Bansal stepped down from the company on Tuesday after an investigation into allegations of “serial personal misconduct found lapses in judgment”.

Walmart Inc, which had acquired the online retailer less than six months ago, said it has accepted Bansal’s resignation because it had found a lack of transparency in how he responded to the situation and to ensure that the probe was thorough.

In an email to the firm’s employees, Bansal said these have been challenging times for his family and him. “The allegations left me stunned and I strongly deny them. 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.

“I am concerned that this may become a distraction for the company and the team. In light of these circumstances, I feel it is best to step away as chairman and group CEO,” he said in the email.

Bansal said that he was mulling to step away but the decision to step down was accelerated by “certain personal events”.

He also noted that the allegations of misconduct were uncorroborated after a thorough investigation completed by an independent law firm. Bansal added he will continue to be a large shareholder in the company and will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors.

Bansal had stayed on at Flipkart after the Walmart takeover while the other co-founder, Sachin Bansal, had decided to leave the company at the time of the sale. Both the Bansals held around 5-6% each in Flipkart, with Sachin having sold his entire holding as part of the Walmart acquisition.

Retail giant Walmart, in a regulatory filing, said Bansal had announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately, on Tuesday morning.

“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," Walmart said in its statement.

It said Bansal’s decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct”.

“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 statement added.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be the CEO of Flipkart, which will now include Myntra and Jabong, continuing to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business.

Ananth Narayanan will remain CEO of Myntra and Jabong and report into Krishnamurthy. Sameer Nigam will continue to lead PhonePe as CEO. Both Krishnamurthy and Nigam will report directly into the board.

On May 13 earlier this year, global retail giant Walmart bought 77 percent in Flipkart for $16 billion, as it made an elephant-footed entry into India’s exploding e-commerce market.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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