Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal resigns after allegations of ‘sexual assault’
New Delhi, Nov 13: Flipkart co-founder and group chief executive officer (CEO) Binny Bansal on Tuesday resigned from the company with immediate effect following an internal probe into "serious personal misconduct".
Flipkart is now controlled by Walmart Inc after the latter acquired 77 percent of Flipkart for $16 billion in May.
In a statement the company said that Bansal's decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of the Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct. Though Bansal has strongly denied the allegations.
Walmart in a statement said, "His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct... He strongly denies the allegation. Nevertheless, we had a responsibility to ensure the investigation was deliberate and thorough.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy will continue to be CEO of Flipkart, which will now include Myntra and Jabong, continuing to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business. Ananth Narayanan will continue providing great leadership as CEO of Myntra and Jabong.
Stunned by allegations of 'serious personal misconduct', Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal has said the developments accelerated his decision to step down from the company he set up 11 years ago.
Bansal, however, said he will continue to remain a large shareholder and board member of the now Walmart-owned firm.
Bansal, 37, has strongly denied the allegations, the details of which were not disclosed. "For some time, I have been mulling over the right time to step away from an operating role at Flipkart Group. My plan was to continue in my current role for a few more quarters to continue the transition after closing the deal with Walmart. However, my decision to step down has been accelerated by certain personal events that have taken place in the recent past," he wrote in an email to employees.
Bansal added that these events relate to a claim of serious personal misconduct made against him, "which was uncorroborated after a thorough investigation completed by an independent law firm".
According to sources, the investigation started in July. "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. Bansal said these have been "challenging times" for him and his family, and in light of these circumstances, he felt it was best to step away as chairman and Group CEO.
"I will continue to be a large shareholder in the company and will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors," he noted. Binny had co-founded Flipkart in 2007 with his IIT-Delhi batchmate Sachin Bansal. Sachin left the company following its USD 16-billion acquisition by US retail behemoth Walmart in May.
(with PTI inputs)