Home >Companies >Start-ups >Flipkart quashes Myntra CEO post as Ananth Narayanan resigns

Bengaluru: Online retailer Flipkart on Monday announced the exit of Myntra chief executive officer (CEO) Ananth Narayanan, the last to hold that title at the fashion unit. In an internal email, the Flipkart board named Amar Nagaram the new head of Myntra reporting to Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, practically abolishing the CEO post at Myntra.

“We would like to share with you that Ananth Narayanan has decided to step down as CEO of Myntra and Jabong to pursue external opportunities. Amar Nagaram will be the new lead as head, Myntra and Jabong," said the email sent to employees, a copy of which was seen by Mint.

Nagaram will lead the Myntra-Jabong business, reporting directly to Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy. He had earlier been designated as the chief product and technology officer of Myntra in December, after he was moved to the fashion retailer from Flipkart.

Mint had first reported on 10 December that Myntra was planning to abolish the CEO post, after Narayanan quietly put in his papers and that Flipkart was planning to name Amar Nagaram as the new head of the online fashion retailer.

“Under (Ananth’s) leadership, the company has had many firsts for the industry—from the extensive usage of technology to enhance customer experience to innovative business model partnerships in working with brands. He and the team have also built a very successful private brand business and have also created several industry shaping events," Flipkart said in the mail.

Narayanan, who joined Myntra in July 2015 after replacing founder Mukesh Bansal, is expected to receive a generous payout, that includes employee stock options (ESOPs) worth several millions of dollars. Mint could not immediately ascertain if Narayanan will manage to immediately cash out all his ESOPs.

Under Narayanan’s leadership, Myntra grew strongly and is expected to end the year with a revenue run rate of nearly $2 billion. According to at least three executives, Myntra, which held its flagship End of Reason Sale in December, ended the month with 1,000 crore in gross sales.

Prior to joining Myntra, Narayanan worked at McKinsey for nearly 15 years, where he headed product development in Asia and the consulting firm’s automotive practice in India. He has worked with companies in the auto, component and construction equipment sectors in India and across Asia, and also helped establish McKinsey’s China sourcing centre.

Following Narayanan’s exit, other top leaders at Myntra are expected to either quit or be handed out diminished roles within Flipkart Group. Already, key leaders such as former strategy head Ananya Tripathi, former chief financial officer Dipanjan Basu and former Jabong head Gunjan Soni have resigned. A bunch of executives have also been transferred from Flipkart to Myntra and vice versa.

Flipkart has also attempted to retain key personnel at Myntra, offering retention bonuses and packages to 50-75 key executives and employees. The retention packages have, however, not been offered to those at the senior vice president level. Mint had reported in December that about 150-200 people have already been laid off across Myntra and Jabong, after Jabong was completely integrated within Myntra.

While Jabong will continue to operate for now, Flipkart may shutter the platform after a few months, according to three people aware of Myntra’s strategy.

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