Flipkart co-founder and group CEO Binny Bansal, who stepped down from his role on Tuesday, said in an email to Flipkart employees that he strongly denies the allegation made against him and that he was stunned by it.
However, he said in the email that he was considering stepping away from an operating role at Flipkart for some time now, and that ‘certain personal events’ that took place in the recent past accelerated his decision to step down. His plan was reportedly to continue in the current role for a few more quarters following the Walmart deal, to help continue the transition.
“These events relate to a claim of serous personal misconduct made against me, which was uncorroborated after a thorough investigation completed by an independent law firm…the investigation, however, did bring to light lapses in judgement, 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,” he said in the email.
Binny, however, will continue to be a large shareholder in the company, while also serving as a member of the board of directors.
Walmart and Flipkart announced on Tuesday that Binny decided to step down following serious personal misconduct. While the nature of the allegation wasn’t disclosed by the companies, a Reuters report said that he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Reuters quotes a source as saying that an allegation of sexual assault came to the notice of the company in July concerning a former Flipkart associate. This individual, however, was not working with Flipkart at the time of the allegation.
According to an Economic Times report, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who will now lead Flipkart, also sent an email to Flipkart employees assuring them that there will be no operating changes to the company after Binny’s exit.
“Flipkart, along with Group Companies Myntra, Jabong, and PhonePe - as leaders in their respective spaces - are today stronger than ever before to continue on their growth journey and expand the market. I take seriously the responsibility of leading our teams at Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong, and am looking forward to working with all of you" ET quotes Krishnamurthy as saying in the email.
He further added that Flipkart will continue to invest heavily in supply chain, innovation and technology, with a focus on optimizing operation.