Kalyan Krishnamurthy takes over as Flipkart CEO, Binny Bansal to head Flipkart GroupAthira Nair
One year after Binny Bansal replaced his Co-founder Sachin Bansal as CEO of online marketplace Flipkart, the tides have turned. Now, Flipkart’s head of category design Kalyan Krishnamurthy is taking over as CEO, while Binny will become Group CEO heading the alliance of Flipkart, Jabong, and Myntra, as well as digital payment arm PhonePe. Kalyan will be responsible for operationally driving Flipkart as well as for Flipkart P&L.
The newly formed Group Org will focus on creating future value through a portfolio of new, high-growth businesses, manage capital allocation across group companies, and ensure each business has a strong CEO in place.
Chief Administrative Officer Nitin Seth will now be the COO for Flipkart, and will be in charge of Ekart and customer experience in addition to his existing role leading HR, strategy-to-execution capabilities, and corporate functions for Flipkart. Nitin will report to Kalyan, as will heads of categories, marketplace, customer shopping experience, private label and marketing. Head of engineering Ravi Garikapati will also now report to Kalyan.
The Group Org aims to build a portfolio of new, high value-creating businesses that are disruptive and will transform commerce in India. To evaluate these opportunities and construct this portfolio of new businesses, Flipkart Group Org will have a Group Strategy function as well as M&A.
As Group CEO, Binny will also oversee capital allocation across all the group companies, CEO selection and CEO compensation. Kalyan, along with Myntra and Jabong CEO Ananth and PhonePe founder Sameer Nigam, will report to Binny. A statement has said that Flipkart Group is in the process of hiring a Group CFO and General Counsel, both of whom will also report to Binny. It has added that Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who was Head of Supply Chain, will now help Binny deliver his new charter.
“We are now ready to build the Flipkart of the future as we continue on our journey of transforming commerce in India through technology. I am confident that this new organisation structure will deliver further value for the Flipkart group,” Binny said in a statement.
For Flipkart, 2016 began with top leadership changes when Sachin Bansal left the CEO position to his Co-founder Binny and took over as executive chairman. Soon, Mukesh Bansal, Ankit Nagori, Punit Soni, and most recently, CFO Sanjay Baweja, private label head Mausam Bhatt and engineering head Peeyush Ranjan all left the company.
Kalyan had left Tiger Global, Flipkart’s largest investor, in June 2016 to become head of category design at Flipkart. He had also had an earlier stint with Flipkart as CFO between 2013 and 2014. The man behind Flipkart’s acclaimed Big Billion Day sale, he took charge of commerce and advertisements too in no time.
One year later, similar headlines with different names show how much Flipkart has changed. Having raised more than $3 billion since 2007, Flipkart is reportedly in talks with US-based retail conglomerate Walmart to raise $1 billion. In 2016, it was devalued multiple times by various investors. With the competition with Amazon getting fiercer, and profitability becoming essential, Flipkart's new leadership seems to have a hard path ahead.