Home / Companies / People /  Sriram Venkataraman is the new Flipkart COO

Bengaluru: Flipkart’s chief financial officer (CFO) Sriram Venkataraman will take additional charge as chief operating officer COO), filling a role that has remained vacant for nearly a year-and-a-half.

Venkataraman will head the logistics vertical Ekart, the marketplace and the retail vertical, the online retailer said in an internal email. Flipkart’s previous COO Nitin Seth had resigned in mid-2017, citing personal reasons.

“The leadership changes we are announcing today affect the following broad groups: marketing, operations, engineering and product," Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy wrote to employees. Mint has seen a copy of the email.

The new appointment comes as Flipkart, which was recently acquired by Walmart, is going through a series of reshuffle and leadership changes.

Another significant change, according to the e-mail, includes the movement of Amar Nagaram from Flipkart to Myntra as its head of engineering and product, reporting to CEO Ananth Narayanan. Nagaram was with Flipkart for almost seven years, with his latest role of leading engineering, product and operations for customer shopping experience.

This could be a precursor to Nagaram taking over as head of Myntra as Narayanan has resigned from his role with his position set to be abolished, as Mint reported recently.

Apart from this, two of Kalyan Krishnamurthy’s main lieutenants Ravi Garikipati and Shoumyan Biswas will leave Flipkart, said the email. While Garikipati was heading the fintech division for the company, Biswas was handling marketing and the recently-launched loyalty program Flipkart Plus.

“Ravi G played a pivotal role in starting up our ads business, provided significant leadership for engineering and technology organisations and established a solid platform in fintech for us to drive growth," said Krishnamurthy in the email. “Shoumyan has played a significant role in establishing Flipkart as one of the foremost Indian brands."

In 2018, Walmart bought 77% acquisition in Flipkart for $16 billion; the deal announcement in May was followed with co-founder Sachin Bansal exiting the firm.

In November, the other co-founder Binny Bansal was forced to resign as Flipkart group CEO, after an internal investigation carried out by Walmart and Flipkart charged him with ‘personal misconduct’.

The investigation did not find any evidence of wrongdoing to support the allegation, but revealed a ‘lapse in judgement’ from Binny Bansal, according to Walmart.

This led to Krishnamurthy being elevated to a broader group-level role and made Myntra report into him, after keeping the online fashion retailer independent since acquiring it in 2014. Krishnamurthy later clarified that Myntra will continue to run as an independent business.

The group companies have also witnessed layoffs over the last few weeks. About 150-200 people have been laid off across Myntra and Jabong, with another round of layoffs expected over the coming weeks, as reported by Mint.

Flipkart and Myntra did not respond to queries sent by Mint.

The first management reshuffle at Flipkart was reported by Mint on December 7 -- when Flipkart moved large appliances head Sandeep Karwa to work on the company’s new hyperlocal offering; Hari Kumar, a senior director who has held a number of different roles within Flipkart over the past few years, was tasked to head the large appliances business; Aditya Soni was appointed as the new head of smartphones business, after former smartphones head Ayyappan R. was moved to Myntra; and Smrithi Ravichandran, a senior director who used to head key events like Big Billion Days, merchandise and business developments, was moved to a new role in Flipkart’s fintech unit.

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