Top executives exit chaos continues at Flipkart; CEO Binny Bansal replaced by Kalyan Krishnamurthy

Editor | Sep 10, 2020

Looking at the series of resignations, we wonder if Flipkart is not a great place to work. Earlier this week, three people from Myntra and Flipkart’s top management left the company.

In the span of just few days, Flipkart is hit by exit of three more top level executives.

Who’s leaving now?

In the recent exits, Flipkart lost its Ekart head, marketing head and customer shopping experience head. They are:

  • Saikiran Krishnamurthy, Head of Flipkart’s logistics unit Ekart
  • Surojit Chatterjee, Senior Vice President & Head of Product Management at Flipkart
  • Samardeep Subandh, Chief Marketing Officer

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the new CEO

In January 2016, co-founder Sachin Bansal handed over the Flipkart CEO mantle to his fellow co-founder Binny Bansal. Exactly a year later, Binny Bansal has been replaced by Kalyan Krishnamuthy as Flipkart’s CEO.

The home-grown etailer had re-hired Krishnamurthy in June 2016 as its business head to reduce its troubles.

A Flipkart official revealed,

“When push came to shove, we had to bring back Kalyan. If Flipkart had actually hired and (assimilated the high-profile executives) well, we’d have had enough people who could’ve taken up the role and we wouldn’t have needed him. But it was obvious he was the only guy possible at that point.”

And this move worked for Flipkart because the tough taskmaster made some major changes in the company.  He fired non-performing top executives, set high targets, kept a tab on company spends and elevated the pressure on employees to perform.  As a result, BBD 2016 was a success and many brands (like Motorola and Xiaomi) returned to Flipkart from Amazon on an exclusive basis.

That’s why Krishnamurthy’s appointment as Flipkart’s CEO hasn’t surprised anyone.

“Kalyan was anyway running the show before this, so this isn’t a complete surprise,” said a company insider.

Binny Bansal, Flipkart Group’s CEO

In his new role as the group CEO at Flipkart, Binny Bansal’s responsibilities would include:

  • To keep an eye on capital distribution across all the group companies
  • To oversee merger and acquisition activities
  • Handle CEO selection at Flipkart’s other companies such as Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe

While everything looks fine from the outside, company insiders disclosed that Binny wasn’t too happy about the fact that Krishnamurthy called the shots in Flipkart.

A company executive revealed,

“Binny (wasn’t) too happy that (Kalyan was effectively running most of Flipkart). He is a very hands-on kind of leader so he obviously resented this. But the point is, he couldn’t do anything about it.”

Industry watchers believe that the recent three exits is a direct result of Krishnamurthy becoming the new CEO. In the past, Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori had resigned after Binny took over as CEO. The same happened after Krishnamurthy’s re-appointment. In October 2016, Flipkart’s CFO Sanjay Baweja had resigned and in November the CTO Peeyush Ranjan had quit.

More top-level exits in the offing?

“Kalyan was anyway running the show before this, so this isn’t a complete surprise,” said a company insider.


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