Putting an end to months speculations, Flipkart’s fashion subsidiary Myntra has now issued a statement that Ananth Narayanan has stepped down from his role to pursue external opportunities. “Ananth has played an important role in making Myntra and Jabong into a formidable player in the fashion ecommerce market and steering the company towards sustainable growth,” Myntra said in a statement on Monday.
With Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart continuing to classify and reclassify roles in the company and its fashion subsidiaries, Myntra and Jabong, the exit of Myntra and Jabong CEO Ananth Narayanan has been widely discussed. At various occasions, reports had surfaced that Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy would be running the show with Myntra and Jabong being fully integrated in November 2018. This indicated the speculations around the exit off Narayanan from Myntra but was denied later.
With Narayanan’s exit, Amar Nagaram has been named as Head, Myntra and Jabong, reporting to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group. “Amar, who recently moved to Myntra from Flipkart, has been with the group for around seven years and has played a pivotal role in making shopping accessible, delightful and affordable on every connected device. Most notably, he led the efforts on revisiting the boundaries of mobile web, making the experience on it as good as native,” the company said.
In a tweet, Narayanan said that he will be focusing on next phase of his entrepreneurial journey.
The company has now said that over the last three and a half years, Narayanan and the management team have built a strong foundation for the company. “Myntra and Jabong are an important part of the Flipkart group serving our valuable customers. The company will continue to execute the growth strategy and leverage synergies with Flipkart as appropriate,” it said.
The strong bench strength and new leadership at Myntra and Jabong will allow the business to continue on its strong and sustainable growth trajectory, the statement added.
Earlier today (January 14), reports surfaced that Narayanan is said to be in discussions with Star TV-owned video streaming app, Hotstar to take up the CEO role. Hotstar’s CEO Ajit Mohan had been appointed as Facebook India’s managing director in September 2018.
Narayanan is also speculated to hold discussions with his previous employers, McKinsey&Co, in his role as consultant and join its US practice.
A Livemint report of December 2018 had claimed that with Narayanan’s exit, 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.
The report also said that Narayanan had been negotiating for accelerated vesting of all of his stocks but that may not have come through. He was reportedly entitled to $20-25 Mn in stock options, but Walmart isn’t in agreement of an all-cash exit out for his Esops.
Krishnamurthy has shuffled the technology teams at Flipkart and Myntra as the Walmart-owned online retailer looks to restructure its fashion business. As Kalyan Krishnamurthy runs the one-man show with Walmart in Flipkart, the exit of founders, as well as leadership, creates various questions about the future of the company,
Update: December 14, 5:45 PM
The story has been updated to include the latest development of Ananth Narayanan stepping down.