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Flipkart hires Rajinder Sharma as new general counsel

Sharma's appointment comes as Flipkart is dealing with various regulatory and legal issues because of its complex structure and its increasing size

Flipkart Ltd, India’s largest e-commerce firm, has hired Rajinder Sharma, former legal head at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd’s south and west Asian unit, as its new general counsel, replacing Srivals Kumar. A Flipkart spokesperson said Sharma joined the company on 1 September.

Sharma, who will be overseeing the legal and regulatory functions at the e-commerce company, was previously director and general counsel at the South and West Asia regional headquarters of Samsung, based in Gurgaon, after three years at EI DuPont India Pvt. Ltd as its director and general counsel (South Asia) between August 2011 and August 2014.

Kumar, who joined Flipkart in July 2014, is the latest senior executive to leave the company, which has seen an exodus of executives over the past six months. The departures, which include those of the heads of engineering, products, human resources, marketing and logistics, are partly related to Flipkart’s strategy to hire more experienced leaders as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO) over the next few years.

Sharma’s appointment comes as Flipkart is dealing with various regulatory and legal issues because of its complex structure and its increasing size.

Flipkart bought back its logistics business from WS Retail Services Pvt. Ltd, the largest seller on its platform, and a company with which it has close links, in an effort to simplify its structure ahead of a possible share sale a few years later, Mint reported on 22 September.

Flipkart and four other e-commerce firms faced questions from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) earlier this year because of allegations of unfair business practices filed by the Confederation of All India Traders. While CCI rejected the allegations, analysts expect the regulator to keep a close eye on online retailers.

Since late 2012, the Enforcement Directorate has been investigating Flipkart for alleged violations of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules. The status of the probe is unclear.

Flipkart, which has raised more than $3 billion in funds from investors, including Tiger Global Management, Qatar Investment Authority and Accel Partners, is now valued at $15 billion and is targeting gross sales of more than $10 billion this year. Gross sales exclude discounts and returns.

A Mint staff writer contributed to this story.

Mint’s association with LegallyIndia.com will bring you regular insight and analysis of major developments in law and the legal world.

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