Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal quits amid sexual assault allegations

Walmart also announced the appointment of Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who heads the company’s main e-commerce operation, as the new CEO of Flipkart.

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The home grown e-commerce giant Flipkart on Tuesday was again on news over its group CEO Binny Bansal’s exit from the company. According to initial reports, the decision to step down came because of 'serious personal misconduct' allegation.

Bansal announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group effective immediately. The media release by Walmart states, “Binny has been an important part of Flipkart since co-founding the company, but recent events risked becoming a distraction and Binny has made a decision to step down.” 

However, according to a report by NDTV which said, “Binny resigned after an investigation into allegations of sexual assault, dealing a blow to owner Walmart Inc.'s ambitions in the country. Binny Bansal, 37, stepped down immediately following an independent probe into the allegations, which the executive denies, Walmart said. The accusation came in late July, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because the details aren't public. The person said the accuser was a former Flipkart employee, while a second person familiar with the situation said the woman never worked there.”

The decision to step down follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart. Bansal has however strongly denied all the allegations against him. His departure came less than six months after The American Corporation Walmart acquired majority stake of the Indian grown web retailer Flipkart. 

The statement further added that the investigation did not find any evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Bansal. It also revealed other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency related to how Bansal responded to the situation. However, the report did not gave any specific details about the accusations against the former CEO.

According to a report by The Times of India, in an email sent to his employees, Bansal had mentioned he was “stunned” by the allegations. He said, “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. These have been challenging times for my family and me. I am concerned that this may become a distraction for the company and the team. In light of these circumstances, I feel it is best to step away as chairman and group CEO.”

However, Walmart didn’t waste much time and announced the successor saying, “Going forward, 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, and will report into Kalyan.”

Bansal will continue to be a large shareholder in the company and serve as the member of the Board of Directors. Now, with both Flipkart co-founders are out, Walmart is now in full control of India's largest e-commerce giant.