New Delhi: After stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Flipkart, Binny Bansal on Tuesday issued a statement denying all allegations levelled against him. In an email to his employees, Bansal said, “The allegations left me stunned and I strongly deny them. The investigation did bring to light lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how I responded to the situation.” His statement comes hours after Bansal resigned after probe into ‘serious personal misconduct’. The former Flipkart CEO, however, mentioned that he will continue to be the shareholder in the company and serve as a member of the board of directors.
Read the full text of Bansal’s final letter to the Flipkart employees after his resignation.
Since co-founding Flipkart with modest resources in 2007, the journey we have embarked on together has been arduous and rewarding, culminating with the fantastic news of our partnership with Walmart earlier this year. They have been great partners and I am optimistic about our future together.
For some time, I have been mulling over the right time to step away from an operating role at Flipkart Group. My plan was to continue in my current role for a few more quarters to continue the transition after closing the deal with Walmart. However, my decision to step down has been accelerated by certain personal events that have taken place in the recent past.
These events relate to a claim of serious personal misconduct made against me, which was uncorroborated after a thorough investigation completed by an independent law firm. The allegations left me stunned and I strongly deny them.
The investigation, however, did bring to light lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how I responded to the situation. These have been challenging times for my family and me. I am concerned that this may become a distraction for the company and the team. In light of these circumstances, I feel it is best to step away as Chairman and Group CEO.
I will continue to be a large shareholder in the company and will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. I am convinced that the company is in great hands with our experienced leaders – Kalyan, Ananth and Sameer. They have done an exceptional job running the businesses for many years now and with the support of Walmart that I have experienced, will continue to lead the company to even greater successes in the future.
Thank you for all the goodwill that you’ve shown towards me over the years.
Earlier in the day, the firm’s new parent Walmart had issued a statement, “Earlier today, Binny Bansal announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately. Binny has been an important part of Flipkart since co-founding the company, but recent events risked becoming a distraction and Binny has made a decision to step down”.
It added, “While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign.”
Walmart further informed that Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who heads the main Flipkart e-commerce operation, would act as chief executive for a broader group of businesses including Myntra and Jabong (apparel websites).
“Ananth Narayanan will continue providing great leadership as CEO of Myntra and Jabong and will report into Kalyan. Sameer Nigam will continue leading PhonePe as CEO. Both Kalyan and Sameer will report directly into the board,” the company said.
Bansal along with Sachin Bansal had co-founded India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart. They launched Flipkart in 2007 as the ‘Amazon of India’. It was valued at close to USD 21 billion as Walmart bought a 77 per cent stake in it for USD 16 billion. The two Bansals are not related but came to know each other as they were passing out of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2005 and decided to move to Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru.