Ola’s in for a Rough Ride as 2 Top Execs End their Trip Now
Taxi aggregator’s high-profile hire Rajiv Bansal and its CMO Raghuvesh Sarup have quit
Mumbai: The most high profile hire made by India’s largest cab hailing startup Ola, former Infosys CFO Rajiv Bansal, has quit the company as it continues to see a top management churn.
Ola’s chief marketing officer Raghuvesh Sarup has also put in his papers, said sources familiar with the matter. Both Bansal and Sarup were roped in a year ago by SoftBank-backed Ola, which is currently engaged in a tough battle for market share with US-based Uber.
Pallav Singh, another early employee who is Senior Vice President and Head of Ola Money, has been given the additional responsibility as interim CFO. No replacement for Sarup has been decided yet. An Ola spokesman confirmed the development. The top level churn at Ola comes as the company also moved chief operating officer and first employee Pranay Jivrajka to an undefined role as a founding partner.
Bansal, who joined Infosys in 1999, was appointed as its CFO in 2012. He was one of the highest paid executives. For the year ending March 2015, Bansal took home a package of $770,858, next only to UB Pravin Rao, the company’s COO and Vishal Sikka, the CEO of Infosys. More recently, Bansal has been in the middle of an on going fight between Infosys founders and CEO Vishal Sikka as his large severance pay of ₹ 17.4 crore has come under question. Bansal joi-
ned Ola in January 2016, with one of his key mandates to prepare the company for a public listing. Bansal’s exit also comes at a time when Ola’s facing a challenging fundraising environment. In November, ET had reported that Ola is likely to accept fresh funding at a lower valuation of $3-4 billion as compared to $5 billion tag it got in 2015. Sarup’s appointment was also announced in January 2016, before which he was marketing director at Microsoft India. Ola has also been making a slew of new appointments this year. Vishal Kaul, former general manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, was appointed as Jivrajka’s replacement as COO. It also named former SABMiller executive Shalabh Seth as the CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies, a wholly-owned leasing subsidiary. On Thursday, it also named Dr Badri Raghavan as its chief data scientist.