Ola CFO Rajiv Bansal, CMO Sarup resign

9 Feb, 2017

Cab-hailing service Ola's chief financial officer (CFO) Rajiv Bansal and chief marketing officer (CMO) Raghuvesh Sarup have quit the company, a person directly aware of the development told Techcircle.

The person also said that Pallav Singh, senior vice president and one of Ola's earliest employees, will be "interim CFO."

Techcircle had exclusively reported on February 1, citing multiple people in the know, that Bansal and Sarup were on their way out, but ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd-run Ola had vehemently denied the development, saying "your story and facts there are incorrect."

An email sent to Ola seeking confirmation on Bansal and Sarup's exit didn't elicit an immediate response.

Bansal had joined Ola in January last year from software giant Infosys, where he was CFO. Sarup joined around the same time from Microsoft, where he was managing director.

The timing of Bansal's departure is rather co-incidental as a storm seems to be brewing at Infosys. At least three co-founders—N R Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan—have written to the board raising several concerns, among which one is the huge severance package (Rs 23 crore) offered to Bansal while leaving the company. Proxy advisory firms also feel that this was an unusually high payment.

Ola, which offers app-based mobility solutions, was valued around $5 billion when it raised $500 million in August 2015. Three months later, it suffered a markdown by its lead investor SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications multinational, as it battled tough competition from its deep-pocketed global rival Uber.

Last August, Ola shut its subsidiary TaxiForSure and fired around 1,000 people, which was exclusively reported by Techcircle.

The company, which effected some top-level changes in January by bringing in Pepsi India veteran Vishal Kaul as chief operating officer and designating the incumbent COO Pranay Jivrajka as founding partner, has seen some senior-level exits in recent months.

Sundeep Sahni, a high-profile hire who headed its new initiatives, and head of luxury cab service Ola Lux Abhimanyu Rawal, quit in December.

In another development, Ola announced on Thursday the appointment of Badri Raghavan, a data scientist with over 20 years of experience, as its chief data scientist.