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BYJU’S top executive Cherian Thomas quits, joins US firm Impending as CEO

Cherian Thomas, who had played an integral part in setting up the edtech's US operations, was also responsible for spearheading the business of BYJU’S subsidiary Osmo as its CEO.

BYJU’S top executive Cherian Thomas quits, joins US firm Impending as CEO

Monday August 21, 2023 , 2 min Read

Cherian Thomas, Senior Vice President for international business at BYJU'S, has departed from the company, marking a top-level exit from the troubled edtech firm as it faces a series of challenges.

Thomas has joined Impending, which creates software and mobile gaming apps, as its Chief Executive Officer, the US-based firm said in a statement.

As the CEO of Impending, Thomas will focus on building and scaling the product portfolio while strengthening and growing a global talent pool, the statement added.

“We share a vision of creating inspired apps with pop culture potential without compromise and have convinced each other that we are going to make it happen together,” Phill Ryu, Co-founder of Impending, said in a statement.

Impending is the company behind apps like Heads Up, Clear, and Classics.

Thomas had co-founded and sold a venture capital-backed startup, Cucumbertown, to the Japanese conglomerate Cookpad in 2016. He was also among the earliest employees at the gaming company Zynga.

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He played an integral part in setting up BYJU'S' US operations and was also responsible for spearheading the business of BYJU’S subsidiary Osmo as its CEO. 

BYJU’S acquired US-based startup Osmo for $120 million in 2019. In addition to Osmo, BYJU’S acquired US firms like Tynker and Epic during the pandemic years.

Last month, BYJU'S roped in Arjun Mohan, former CEO of upGrad, as the CEO of its international business, entrusting him with overseeing the company's overseas operations, while Mrinal Mohit took charge of the company's India operations.

Although the Bengaluru-based company has made several acquisitions, it has also been downsizing its workforce, both globally and domestically, as it navigates through a myriad of challenges.

Last week, as part of a performance review process, BYJU'S let go of about 100 employees in a fresh round of layoffs. These performance-related dismissals have come a few months after the company initiated workforce reductions, which affected over 1,000 individuals. Since last year, BYJU'S has undertaken several job cuts as part of its ongoing cost-cutting initiatives.

Post the pandemic-led edtech boom, BYJU’S continues to face several challenges, including delays in filing financial statements, conflicts with lenders over a $1.2-billion term loan B, and a dispute with US-based investment fund Davidson Kempner regarding its test prep unit Aakash.  

In FY21, the edtech giant reported a loss of Rs 4,564.38 crore, significantly larger than its FY20 loss of Rs 305.5 crore.


Edited by Kanishk Singh