On Tuesday, Flipkart’s co-founder and group chief executive Binny Bansal resigned from the company, following an internal investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct”.
Walmart in a press statement said the “independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct” did not find anything amiss or anything improper by Binny, but he is still leaving because the whole affair is “distracting”.
Wall Street Journal revels that a former Flipkart employee came forward over the summer alleging Bansal had sexually assaulted her sometime around 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter. Walmart interviewed Bansal who told investigators that he had a consensual relationship with the woman and denied he had assaulted her according to the story in the Wall Street Journal.
“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. His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct. He strongly denies the allegation,” Walmart said in a statement on Tuesday.
Binny Bansal, in a letter to Flipkart employees, “strongly denied” all allegations of serious personal misconduct made against him, Reuters reported on Tuesday. “My plan was to continue in my current role for a few more quarters to continue transition after closing deal with Walmart… My decision to step down has been accelerated by certain personal events that have taken place in the recent past,” he said in the letter.
According to another person aware of the development, Bansal will remain on the board of Flipkart and continue to be a shareholder in Flipkart for now. Bansal owns shares worth $700-800 million in Flipkart and was contracted to stay on at the company till 2020.
Walmart also announced that Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who has led the Flipkart unit since 2017, will now oversee the company’s two online fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong. Ananth Narayanan, who is the CEO of Myntra and Jabong, will report to him.