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Is Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy moving out?


Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy may move from the company’s top post, according to two sources aware of the development. While it’s not clear when he will move out, sources indicate that his transition will be materialized over the next two months.

Krishnamurthy took over CEO post from co-founder Binny Bansal in January this year. “Post partial exit from Flipkart Tiger Global’s day to day role in Flipkart is going to be limited,” says one of the above sources.

Currently, the discussion around Krishnamurthy replacement is being underway. Board members, both co-founders (Sachin and Binny Bansal) and key management level executives are brainstorming to find a replacement for the current CEO, say sources.

Twitter handle Unicon Baba also mentioned Krishnamurthy probable exit from Flipkart’s CEO:

At the same time, Tiger Global also wants Krishnamurthy to come back to his original role at the hedge fund. In an email response, Flipkart has denied that Krishnamurthy is stepping down as the CEO of the company.

Email sent to Softbank and Tiger Global didn’t elicit any response at the time of publishing this post.

Importantly, the news of Krishnamurthy departure taking rounds from Flipkart comes at a time when Lee Fixel had stepped down from Ola’s Board of Directors. The New York-based hedge fund expected to cash in about $600 million by selling part of its equity in Ola to Softbank.

After restructuring at Flipkart in January, Binny has been taking care of functions such as capital allocation across all the group companies, merger and acquisition activities amongst others while Sachin remained serving group chairman.

Flipkart had raised $2.5 billion from world’s largest technology investment firm Softbank Vision Fund in August this year. Post this investment, Softbank became one of the largest shareholders in the Bengaluru-based company.

Besides putting $1.4 billion primary round in Flipkart, the Masayoshi Son-led investment giant is also buying $1 billion worth secondary shares majorly from Tiger Global, including other investors such as Accel, IDG and Kalaari.

“Softbank is known for backing founders and it usually let them to run operations. It’s likely that Binny will comeback as the CEO of Flipkart. However, it’s yet to be decided,” says one of the above sources.

Krishnamurthy had come to Flipkart from Tiger Global Management in June 2016 as head — ‘category design organization’. He came back to Flipkart barely five months after it had replaced Sachin with Binny as its CEO.

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