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Housing.com fires CEO Rahul Yadav, puts an end to the drama, for now

The decision was taken at the company board meeting in Mumbai.

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 1, 2015  | 17:33 IST
Outgoing Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav
Outgoing Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav

Housing.com has finally put an end to its tumultuous relationship with CEO Rahul Yadav by showing him the exit door. His attitude towards the company's investors, partners and the media is believed to be the reason for his ouster.

According to a report by The Economic Times, the decision was taken at the company board meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday. "The board believed that his behaviour is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company," the report quoted a source as saying.

Housing.com is now in search of an interim CEO.

Yadav was asked to leave the company premises immediately after the board meeting, since he had "nothing to do with Housing.com anymore".

FROM THE MAGAZINE: Behind the cult, crazy ways of Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav

According to the report, the company's main investor, SoftBank, had even called in the police, anticipating incidents of violence following the decision. "But Yadav quietly left the premises".

Here's a key to what's happened these past few months:

  • On March 6, Yadav had been involved in a social media spat with Shailendra Singh, MD of venture capitalist firm Sequoia India, accusing him of poaching Housing.com's employees. Yadav had fired off an email to Singh, which later got leaked.
  • Yadav was later drawn into another controversy when he sent an internal mail to his employees saying that MagicBricks (owned by Times group) was maligning Housing.com while raising funds.
  • Yadav spent Rs 100 crore on an advertisement blitzkrieg 'Look Up' that was seen by the investors as throwing away millions. He is also said to have been pushing for acquiring online subscription based real estate data and analytics platform PropEquity, which the investors were not confident of. The investors are said to have been looking for a professional CEO to replace Yadav.
  • On April 30, Yadav had tendered his resignation to board members and investors accusing them of not being "intellectually capable of any discussion".
  • He withdrew his resignation on May 5, apologising for his statement. The investors, however, decided to reconstitute the board with SoftBank taking control. Jonathan Bullock, SoftBank's representative, was to take control of the new 5-member board.
  • Later in May, Yadav gave away his entire stake in the company - Rs 150-200 crore worth of shares - to the 2,251 employees as a gift, saying he is only 26 and "it's too early in life to get serious about money etc."
  • Soon after, he challenged Ola Head Bhavish Aggarwal and Zomato's Deepinder Goyal to also give away half of their shares to employees.
  • Most recently, Yadav had taken a pot shot at Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka by posting a picture of him sleeping at an airport lounge.

 

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