Myntra may abolish CEO post with Ananth Narayanan's exit: Reports

Myntra may abolish CEO post with Ananth Narayanan's exit: Reports
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
10 Dec, 2018

Less than a month after Walmart-owned Flipkart denied speculation that Myntra chief executive Ananth Narayanan was on his way out, fresh reports suggest otherwise. Narayanan, financial daily Mint reported today, has resigned and the Myntra CEO post itself is slated to be abolished.

An earlier report by The Economic Times said that Narayanan was likely resign from the company by January or February next year. He was currently in negotiations with Walmart over the conditions of his exit, especially the $20-25 million worth of stock options he is entitled to, the report said.

Besides Narayanan, Myntra’s chief revenue officer Mithun Sundar and head of human resources and operations Manpreet Ratia are also  moving on from the company, the report said citing anonymous sources. With the abolition of the CEO position, Amar Nagaram, head of consumer shopping experience at Flipkart, will head the fashion arm, the report added.

A spokesperson for Flipkart said, “As a policy we don’t comment on speculation,” in response to specific queries from TechCircle on reported departures from Myntra.

Nagaram was recently assigned the role of chief technology and product officer at Myntra. In a recent top level management reshuffle by Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Myntra’s chief technology officer Jeyandran Venugopal was moved to Flipkart to head its engineering division as well. Ayyappan R, who was in charge of the mobile phone category at Flipkart, was tasked with leading category management at Myntra. Additionally, Manohar Kamath, the head of fashion and category at Myntra has been moved to Flipkart’s fashion unit where he will report to Flipkart fashion head Rishi Vasudev, the Mint report said.

Myntra, which Flipkart acquired in 2014, currently operates as an independent subsidiary. The subsidiary earlier reported into Flipkart founder and group CEO Binny Bansal. After Binny Bansal's unceremonious exit last month Krishnamurthy took charge of all subsidiaries including fashion etailers Myntra and Jabong and payment wallet PhonePe.

Flipkart, which was acquired by US retail giant Walmart in a $16 billion deal in May this year, has reportedly offered retention bonuses and packages to about 50-75 key executives and employees at Myntra to lure them to stay at the company. The report further said that Walmart is likely to initiate another round of layoffs at its fashion verticals in India and the ongoing integration of business functions may eventually lead to completely shuttering the Jabong platform.

Walmart had announced a deeper integration move last month to merge the various business functions of Flipkart’s two fashion units – Myntra and Jabong and undertook a layoff of a large number of employees. Several people privy to the developments had told TechCircle that about 200 of Jabong’s 700 employees were asked to leave the company. Most affected employees were from Jabong's Gurugram office and belong to the category’ division at the fashion e-commerce firm. Speculation about Narayanan’s exit started doing the rounds at the time though the same was denied by Flipkart.

Jabong and Myntra had been battling an exodus of top-level executives for some time now. Most recently in October, Myntra chief marketing officer and head of Jabong Gunjan Soni and Myntra strategy officer and head of categories Ananya Tripathi announced their decision to move on from the company by the end of this year. In June, Muralikrishnan B, a senior vice-president at Myntra, quit the fashion e-tailer. The exit of Muralikrishnan, who was chief operating officer at Jabong, came almost four months after Myntra’s product and revenue heads resigned.