Flipkart revamps tech leadership team again

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Bengaluru: Flipkart Ltd, India’s largest e-commerce firm, has changed its technology leadership team for the second time in a year, moving engineering head Peeyush Ranjan to the role of group chief technology officer.

Ranjan will now look at areas such as mobile technologies and machine learning at Flipkart and head technology strategy, according to an email sent to Flipkart employees on Thursday, a copy which has been reviewed by Mint.

Ranjan’s role has been split into two.

Flipkart has hired former Amazon.com Inc. and Micromax Informatics executive Ashish Agrawal as senior vice-president of engineering. Agrawal, who will join Flipkart this month, will be the engineering head of the consumer shopping experience.

Flipkart has also promoted Hari Vasudev, another senior vice-president of engineering, to head the technology function of two of its most important businesses—marketplace and Ekart.

Both Vasudev and Agrawal will report to Flipkart chief executive officer Binny Bansal. Vasudev will also report to Saikiran Krishnamurthy, the head of Ekart, Flipkart’s massive logistics arm.

A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the changes.

The latest churn at the top level of the e-commerce company comes after the departure of three top executives over the past four months.

In April 2015, Flipkart recruited Ranjan from Google Inc. as head of engineering, one month after it hired Punit Soni, another former Googler, as the chief product officer (CPO). They replaced Amod Malviya and Sameer Nigam, who quit the company soon after.

However, in January, Soni was removed from the role of CPO and he, too, left the company in April. Now, the products function is led by another former Google executive, Surojit Chatterjee.

Marketplace head Mukesh Bansal and chief business officer Ankit Nagori, two of the most powerful Flipkart executives apart from its co-founders, resigned from the company in February. Their exits came barely a month after Flipkart had moved Binny Bansal to the role of chief executive, taking over from Sachin Bansal, who was made executive chairman.

Flipkart is straining to keep arch rival Amazon India at bay. Amazon, which has won significant market share from Flipkart and other local rival Snapdeal over the past 15 months, has promised to pump in an additional $3 billion in India, after it exhausted its earlier investment of $2 billion made in July 2014.