The concerns regarding the exits of top management have come to haunt Ola again, with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gaurav Porwal set to quit the ride-hailing company. This comes ahead of a likely $1 billion IPO of Ola, which will likely list on exchanges this financial year. Ola CFO Saurabh, as per an internal communication, is set to quit in December. He had joined Ola only seven months ago in April 2021 and was previously associated with Hindustan Zinc.
Top sources also confirmed to BusinessToday.In that Murali Sashidharan, Associate Director-Communications, Ola, left the company two weeks ago. Sashidharan was responsible for the company’s communication across Ola’s businesses, including corporate and revenue generation businesses, and had joined the Bhavish Aggarwal-led firm in May 2019.
The internal email, shared by Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal with the employees, says Porwal, who run Ola’s mobility business last year and built a strong foundation, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. “It has been a real pleasure working alongside,” says the email accessed by BusinessToday.In.
“Please join me in thanking him for his incredible efforts and in wishing him the very best for everything that lies ahead,” Aggarwal said. Porwal, according to his Linkedln profile, had joined Ola in 2019, taking care of Ola’s delivery services. He was promoted to the ranks of COO in November 2020.
The Ola CEO also announced major management rejig, and Vinay A Bhopatkar, CEO of Ola Delivery Business, will now take on the additional responsibilities of the driver and supply ecosystem of the mobility platform due to strong synergies between these businesses. “It will enable us to further improve driver experience and utilisation,” the CEO said via the internal memo.
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“Arun Kumar GR, our Group CFO has, in a short time, helped us build an extremely strong finance function. Our finance team is much stronger with incredible talent and is much more business-oriented than ever before. Arun will continue to run the finance function across the group and all the key finance leaders at Ola will now report directly to him. Swayam Saurabh will be moving on to pursue other opportunities in mid-December. I wish him the very best for his next endeavour. And, as we announced earlier, Arun Sirdeshmukh will continue to play the role of CEO, Ola Cars, our vehicle commerce business,” Aggarwal said.
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He said the company has restructured its mobility business to be much more robust and structurally efficient, enabling strong growth and a rapid return to pre-Covid levels. “Our vehicle commerce business, Ola Cars, has scaled up rapidly to become a large operation, and our Delivery and Financial Services businesses are at key inflection points,” Aggarwal added.
Some of the top management exits from the company in 2019 were Ben Leggard, who stepped down from the position of Managing Director, Ola, in the UK; Sarmad Nazki, who was heading the finance division of Ola Electric Mobility; and Tyler Stead, New Zealand Operations Manager. In 2018, Vishal Kaul, the Chief Operating Officer and Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who was the head of the corporate growth at Ola, also resigned in months of joining the company.
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