Myntra’s chief executive  officer (CEO) Ananth Narayanan. Photo: Mint
Myntra’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ananth Narayanan. Photo: Mint

Myntra chief Ananth Narayanan quits, firm may abolish CEO post

Besides Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, other key leaders such as chief revenue officer Mithun Sundar and human resources head Manpreet Ratia, who also oversaw operations, supply chain and customer experience at Myntra, have also resigned.

Bengaluru: Myntra’s chief executive officer (CEO) Ananth Narayanan has resigned from his role with his position set to be abolished, and Flipkart executive Amar Nagaram has been tasked with heading Myntra, three people directly aware of the developments said. Key Myntra leaders such as chief revenue officer Mithun Sundar, who took charge in April, and human resources head Manpreet Ratia, who also oversaw operations, supply chain and customer experience at Myntra, have also resigned, said the people cited above, requesting anonymity. Flipkart has also attempted to retain key personnel at Myntra, offering retention bonuses and packages to 50-75 key executives and employees, the people cited above said.

The retention packages have, however, not been offered to those at the senior vice president level, they added. The Economic Times newspaper reported on Friday that Narayanan could leave Myntra and Nagaram could be made the head of the fashion retailer.

Another key Myntra leader, Manohar Kamath, who joined the online fashion retailer from Shoppers Stop in 2016, has been moved to Flipkart’s fashion unit, where he will report to Flipkart fashion head Rishi Vasudev, the people cited above said. While about 150-200 people have already been laid off across Myntra and Jabong, another fresh round of lay-offs is expected over the coming weeks, the people cited above said. Mint could not immediately ascertain the number of lay-offs that will take place across Myntra and Jabong. It is still unclear whether Flipkart will choose to keep the Jabong brand and platform alive for the long haul. While Jabong will continue to operate for now, Flipkart may shutter the platform after a few months, the people cited above said.

Mint first reported on 16 November that Jabong would be completely integrated with Myntra with traffic from Jabong directed to Myntra, after the integration is completed. While Myntra has been growing fast, Jabong has struggled. Myntra bought Jabong in July 2016 from Rocket Internet for $70 million mainly to avoid a rival buying it.

A Flipkart spokesperson said that the firm does not comment on “speculation." Narayanan did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment. A spokeswoman for Myntra denied any plan to lay off workers. “Flipkart Group is deeply committed to the success of Myntra and Jabong as market-leading brands. The integration of the two brands’ back-office teams is a long-planned and one-off realignment that started since Myntra’s acquisition of Jabong in July 2016. We have no further restructuring plans at this time," the spokeswoman said in an email. “We are confident that we can continue to link fashion industry know-how and ecommerce innovation for consumers in India and, increasingly, around the world. And we will continue to invest in the Myntra and Jabong brands and in our people to help make this happen."

Mint reported on 16 November on a large round of lay-offs at Jabong, as part of a broader integration with Myntra. At the time, Myntra CEO Narayanan said about 10% of the combined workforce of Myntra and Jabong would be cut, while also stating he had no immediate plans to quit Myntra and that it would continue as an independent platform. That, however, seems unlikely now. Narayanan is expected to leave in January after the season-end, the End of Reason Sale. Already, key leaders such as former strategy head Ananya Tripathi and former Jabong head Gunjan Soni have resigned from Myntra. The list is expected to grow over the coming weeks.

Mint reported on Friday that Myntra’s chief technology officer Jeyandran Venugopal is expected to be moved to Flipkart in a new role. According to the people cited above, Venugopal is being moved to a new role in the Flipkart storefront merchandising team.

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