On Tuesday evening, news of Flipkart's co-founder's resignation over allegations of "serious personal misconduct" emerged. According to reports, the company looked into the complaint but could not corroborate the allegation levelled against Bansal. However, more and more information on what went inside the company's top rungs are gradually emerging.
According to reports, a couple of factors forced Binny Bansal to exit his company. To begin with, the allegations were made by a former woman employee of Flipkart in 2016, who had already left the company in 2012. However, the charges could not be substantiated then. It was also around the time Binny Bansal had taken over the role of group CEO from co-founder Sachin Bansal.
In July 2018, the former employee approached Walmart Global that had just announced its 77% acquisition of the company. According to a report in The Economic Times, she wrote to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon about Bansal's misconduct. Flipkart and Walmart then hired an international law firm to look into the matter. Meanwhile, the Walmart-Flipkart deal was sealed.
Walmart that had freshly signed the deal was unhappy with the fact that Bansal did not disclose this matter during the negotiation process.
In his letter to Flipkart employees too, Bansal had hinted at his "lapse of judgement". "The investigation, however, did bring to light lapses in judgment, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how I responded to the situation. These have been challenging times for my family and me. I am concerned that this may become a distraction for the company and the team. In light of these circumstances, I feel it is best to step away as Chairman and Group CEO," he said.
However, Binny Bansal will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. "I will continue to be a large shareholder in the company and will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors," he said.