Citing personal reasons, Nitin Seth, the Chief Operating Officer at Flipkart has resigned from the company, according to media reports. Seth joined Flipkart in 2016 as Chief People Officer, and then in January 2017, he was promoted as the COO after Kalyan Krishnamurthy took over as the company CEO from Binny Bansal.
Seth was in charge of the logistics unit Ekart along with strategy and Human Resources. Last week, Krishnamurthy had taken over the entire HR function. The entire HR team along with Finance team at the online retailer now report directly to Krishnamurthy. Post the resignation of Seth, Krishnamurthy oversees all the major functions of the organization. Seth was reporting to Krishnamurthy. Flipkart is also separately looking to hire an HR head.
People Matters is awaiting a response from the Flipkart spokesperson.
Before assuming his new role with Flipkart, Nitin Seth was the Managing Director and Country Head for Fidelity International in India. Prior to Fidelity International, Nitin was with McKinsey, where he was the Director of McKC, McKinsey’s global knowledge center in India. He also holds an undergraduate degree in engineering (B.Tech) from the IIT-Delhi.
Several top executives have left Flipkart in recent months. Just a day after Krishnamurthy took over as the new CEO, Saikiran Krishnamurthy, the former Head of Flipkart’s logistics business, Marketing Chief Samardeep Subandh and Products Chief Surojit Chatterjee have stepped down. Not only have all non-founder CXOs quit the company, but several executives from the second layer, including senior vice presidents and vice presidents, have also left.
Amid this management reshuffling, Flipkart has been actively wooing its ex-employees. It has been successful in attracting a few among them. Lokesh Rajpal has returned in August 2016 to handle the key functions at the Legal Department, while, Nishit Garg, who had moved to Flipkart’s main investor Tiger Global in 2015 has re-joined the company in February. He is Krishnamurthy’s Chief of Staff at Flipkart—both of them worked together at Tiger and, prior to that, at Flipkart. Although talks on Flipkart-Snapdeal merger are still on, it can be speculated that Krishnamurthy might also be preparing the ground for a successful acquisition of Snapdeal.
Last year, Morgan Stanley, a minority but significant investor in Flipkart, has marked down the value of its shares by 15.5% - the valuation came down to $9 billion from $15 billion. At its peak in June 2015, when Flipkart raised $700 million from global investors, it was valued at $15.2 billion, the highest for an Indian venture capital-backed company. Since then, the Bengaluru-based e-commerce marketplace has seen five mark-downs by global mutual funds, as the company has lost both market share and a perception battle to Amazon.
Recently, with new funding in April 2017, the company’s valuation rests at around $11.4 billion after it raised $1.4 billion funds from eBay, Microsoft, Tencent, and has acquired eBay India in the process. eBay India is one among the 3 most important acquisitions of the company. In 2014, the company acquired Myntra in a $20 billion deal. In 2016, Flipkart's Myntra acquired Jabong for $70 million. And now, the company is in the final leg of acquiring Snapdeal. HR is a critical function for the company since the process of integration after acquiring eBay is underway, and if Snapdeal’s merger happens with Flipkart, a major reshuffling can be expected again.