Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan steps down, Amar Nagaram takes over

Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan steps down, Amar Nagaram takes over
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
14 Jan, 2019

Ananth Narayanan has quit as the chief executive of Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailers Myntra and Jabong, ending months of speculation.

Narayanan plans to pursue “external opportunities”, Flipkart said in a statement on Monday, without elaborating. He led Myntra for three-and-a-half years.

The statement added that Amar Nagaram has been named as head of Myntra and Jabong, reporting to Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy. Nagaram, who recently moved to Myntra from Flipkart, has been with the group for around seven years.

Nagaram previously headed consumer shopping experience at the e-commerce marketplace. His appointment at Myntra was part of a recent top-level management reshuffle by Krishnamurthy, which also saw Myntra chief technology officer Jeyandran Venugopal moving to Flipkart to head its engineering division. Ayyappan R, who was in charge of the mobile phone category at Flipkart, was tasked with leading category management at Myntra.

Separately, The Economic Times reported, citing two sources it didn’t name, that Narayanan was in talks with video streaming service Hotstar for the CEO’s position.

The CEO’s position at Hotstar has been lying vacant since Ajit Mohan moved on to head the Indian operations at social networking giant Facebook.

Narayanan, who previously had a 15-year stint with McKinsey, may also consider going back to the consultancy firm, the report said.

The Economic Times had previously reported that Narayanan was in negotiations with Walmart over the conditions of his exit, especially the $20-25 million worth of stock options he is entitled to.

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

Walmart Inc., which acquired a majority stake in Flipkart last year, had announced a deeper integration move in November to merge the various business functions of Myntra and Jabong and laid off 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. Speculation about Narayanan’s exit started doing the rounds at the time though Flipkart had denied any such move.

Jabong and Myntra have been battling an exodus of top-level executives for some time now. In October, Myntra chief marketing officer and head of Jabong Gunjan Soni and Myntra strategy officer and head of categories Ananya Tripathi decided to quit. 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.