Myn­tra’s CEO Narayanan in Talks for Top Role at Hot­star

Flip­kart may an­nounce his de­par­ture and Amar Na­garam’s fresh as­sign­ment to­day

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Samidha.Sharma @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Flip­kart is ex­pected to an­nounce the de­par­ture of Myn­tra CEO Ananth Narayanan, from the fash­ion etailer on Mon­day, sources close to the de­vel­op­ment said. Narayanan is in dis­cus­sions with Star TV-owned video stream­ing app, Hot­star to take up the CEO role, these peo­ple in the know told ET. Hot­star’s ear­lier chief ex­ec­u­tive, Ajit Mo­han was re­cently ap­pointed as Face­book In­dia's manag­ing di­rec­tor.

A long-time McKin­sey con­sul­tant, Narayanan may con­sider mov­ing back to the con­sul­tancy firm, to join its US practise, two sources privy to the de­vel­op­ment told ET.

Along with Narayanan’s step­ping down, Flip­kart is ex­pected to an­nounce the ap­point­ment of Amar Na­garam who moved from Flip­kart to Myn­tra, in a newly-cre­ated role of chief tech­nol­ogy and prod­uct of­fi­cer (CTPO), as re­ported first by ET in its De­cem­ber 7 edi­tion. He will re­port to Kalyan Kr­ish­na­murthy, Flip­kart’s CEO.

“Post the re­struc­tur­ing of the fash­ion busi­ness at the Flip­kart group, Myn­tra and Jabong merged and Wal­mart did not see a clear role for Narayanan. Also, Narayanan him­self was not very cer­tain about the road ahead in this new set-up, as

Kr­ish­na­murthy was go­ing to take di­rect con­trol of the two en­ti­ties as the Flip­kart CEO,” a per­son close to the de­vel­op­ment said.

Narayanan and Flip­kart did not re­spond to ET’s query.

Narayanan, who joined Myn­tra in 2015 as its CEO, had spent15 years at McKin­sey across var­i­ous ge­ogra­phies. After the Jabong ac­qui­si­tion, he’d been head­ing the com­bined en­tity.

An­other per­son close to the com­pany said Narayanan had been ne- go­ti­at­ing for an ac­cel­er­ated vest­ing of all of his stocks but that may not have come through. He was en­ti­tled to $20-25 mil­lion in stock op­tions, but Wal­mart isn’t in agree­ment of an all cash exit out for his Esops, as ET re­ported ear­lier.

Kr­ish­na­murthy has shuf­fled the tech­nol­ogy teams at Flip­kart and Myn­tra as the Wal­mart-owned on­line re­tailer looks to re­struc­ture its fash­ion busi­ness.

Be­sides Na­garam, head of con­sumer shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence at Flip­kart, who has now been moved to Myn­tra as its CTPO, Myn­tra's chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer (CTO) Jeyan­dran Venu­gopal has been shifted to Flip­kart to head its en­gi­neer­ing divi­sion.

Ear­lier, Flip­kart's mo­bile cat­e­gory head Ayyap­pan R was ap­pointed to lead cat­e­gory man­age­ment at Myn­tra. Both Na­garam and Ayyap­pan are con­sid­ered to be close aides of Kr­ish­na­murthy.

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