Former WhatsApp business head Neeraj Arora may rejoin Paytm board

An IIT Delhi alumni, Arora had quit the Paytm board after Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma alleged that Facebook-owned WhatsApp's UPI payment platform has security risks for consumers.
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Former global business head of WhatsApp Neeraj Arora is likely to rejoin the board of Paytm amid the company preparing to come out with an IPO worth Rs 16,600 crore.

Arora, who is currently working as an advisor to an early-stage venture capital firm Venture Highway, was on the board of Paytm between June 2015 and February 2018.

"Neeraj Arora is likely to join Paytm board soon," a source aware of the development told PTI.

An e-mail query sent to Paytm did not elicit any response.

An IIT Delhi alumni, Arora had quit the Paytm board after Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma alleged that Facebook-owned WhatsApp's UPI payment platform has security risks for consumers.

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Arora was working with WhastApp when he quit the board in 2018. He has also worked with Google and Times Internet.

Ahead of its initial public offer, Paytm is rejigging its board. All Chinese nationals have stepped down from the board.

According to a regulatory filing of the company, all Chinese nationals on the board of digital payments firm Paytm have been replaced by US and Indian citizens while there is no change in existing shareholding.

Alipay representative Jing Xiandong, Ant Financial's Guoming Cheng, and Alibaba representatives Michael Yuen Jen Yao (US citizen) and Ting Hong Kenny Ho have ceased to be directors of the company, as per the regulatory document.

According to a source, Paytm now has no Chinese national on its board.

US citizen Douglas Feagin has joined the Paytm board on behalf of Ant Group.

Berkshire Hathaway representative Todd Anthony Combs, Saama Capital's Ashit Ranjit Lilani and SoftBank representative Vikas Agnihotri have also joined the board, the company's filing showed.

Paytm shareholders include Alibaba's Ant Group (29.71 percent), SoftBank Vision Fund (19.63 percent), SAIF Partners (18.56 percent) and Vijay Shekhar Sharma (14.67 percent). AGH Holding, T Rowe Price, Discovery Capital and Berkshire Hathaway hold less than 10 percent stake each in the company.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta