Zomato, BharatPe, Nykaa and more: the revolving door for top execs at new age companies

Zomato, BharatPe, Nykaa and more: the revolving door for top execs at new age companies
  • On Monday, Gunjan Patidar, Zomato’s co-founder and chief technology officer tendered his resignation.
  • BharatPe’s CEO Suhail Sameer has quit the top job to become its strategic advisor.
  • There has been a lot of churn in new-age companies like Nykaa, and also big techs like Meta India, WhatsApp Pay, Amazon India and more.
New age companies in India have been hit by a flurry of exits by top executives, leaving them scurrying for replacements. This comes at a time when startups have been battling funding winter and elevated inflation, in a rising interest rate regime.

BharatPe, a fintech is amongst those with multiple high profile exits, including its co-founder and former managing director Ashneer Grover, along with his wife Madhuri Jain Grover – who not only had to leave the company, but were also sued by BharatPe in December 2022 for ₹88.6 crore.

The company alleged that both husband and wife engaged in misappropriation of funds including creating fake bills, enlisting fictitious vendors and so on.

Adding to BharatPe’s woes is the departure of its CEO Suhail Sameer on January 3. Sameer took over as the company’s CEO in August 2021, a year after being appointed as the company’s president. He will now serve as a strategic advisor starting January 7, 2023.

Before Sameer, BharatPe witnessed the departure of four other high level executives last November. This includes Nehul Malhotra, head of PostPe which is BharatPe’s ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ arm. The others were the CTO Vijay Aggarwal; Rajat Jain, the chief product officer; and Geetanshu Singla, VP of technology. They moved on to pursue their own entrepreneurial passions, the company had then said in a statement.


Zomato rocked by multiple top level exits, too
Sameer’s resignation comes hours after Gunjan Patidar, Zomato’s co-founder and chief technology officer, tendered his resignation. Patidar was one of the first few employees of Zomato who built the core tech systems of the company.

“Over the last ten plus years, he (Patidar) also nurtured a stellar tech leadership team that is capable of taking on the mantle of leading the tech function going forward. His contribution to building Zomato has been invaluable,” said the company.

Patidar’s exit is the third high-level exit at the food delivery giant in two months. In November last year, another one of Zomato’s co-founders Mohit Gupta tendered his resignation. Its head of new initiatives Rahul Ganjoo; and Siddharth Jhawar, vice-president of global growth also quit in the same month.

The list goes on as in September 2022, Zomato’s deputy CFO Nitin Savara also tendered his resignation. The company has been bleeding money and it reported a consolidated loss of ₹251 crore in Q2 FY23.

New age companies’ top heads move in and out of big tech companies
There is a lot of churn among top executives of new-age tech companies as well as big techs. Online beauty retailer Nykaa’s CFO Arvind Agarwal, who had been with the company through its IPO, quit and joined fintech major PayU as its India CFO, this November.

On the other hand, new-age companies have also been able to attract executives from major companies into their fold as well. Case in point is Sugar Cosmetics who brought in Amit Aggarwal, Marico’s head of finance of its India business, as its CFO.

Adding to it, Amazon India’s director of grocery, food and health Sameer Khetarpal resigned and moved to Jubilant FoodWorks as CEO, a franchisee that runs Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin Donuts outlets in India.

Meta India country head Ajit Mohan tendered his resignation in November 2022, to join rival Snap as the President of Asia Pacific.

Following this, WhatsApp India’s head Abhijit Bose and Meta India’s public policy head Rajiv Aggarwal also resigned. The latter joined Samsung India. WhatsApp Pay’s director and head Manesh Mahatme also left his position in September to join Amazon India as director, product and engineering.

Last but not the least, another shocking exit was of Parag Agarwal, former CEO of Twitter who was fired by Elon Musk in October, a year after he was appointed for the position.

Soon after his ouster, Agrawal changed his LinkedIn bio to “Not the CEO you are looking for”.

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