Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of the Flipkart Group, will be given a seat on the company’s board, along with HDFC CEO Keki Mistry, Walmart’s Global CTO Suresh Kumar and Walmart’s Executive Vice President for international strategy and development, Leigh Hopkins.
Steuart Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton; Dirk Van den Berghe, EVP at Walmart Asia; Rajesh Magow, co-founder at Makemytrip; and independent director Rohit Bhagat will be exiting the board.
The board reshuffle was announced to Flipkart employees via a company-wide email on Thursday.
“I wanted to lyou know that this new year will see some changes to our board as a number of our current directors will be stepping down after steering us through the first two years following Walmart’s investment,” Krishnamurthy said in the email.
The US retail giant will continue to retain three seats on Flipkart’s board post the rejig. Walmart International President and CEO Judith McKenna will remain as chairperson. Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and former Tiger Global executive Lee Fixel will also hold on to their board seats.
“I am happy to share with you that at the board meeting earlier this month, your board was highly appreciative of all our efforts this year, expressed pride in the progress we have made and looked forward to seeing the next chapter of our development as we move towards 2021…,” Krishnamurthy added.
Flipkart did not comment on ET’s specific query on the changes to its board until press time on Thursday.
ET reported on December 14 that Walmart’s Berghe is retiring from Walmart and will subsequently step down from the Flipkart board. ET had in June last year had first reported about Flipkart’s plan for a public listing in an overseas market. ET also reported earlier that the online retailer had held talks with investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to mandate for the public float.
The changes to Flipkart’s board come soon after Walmart spun off Flipkart’s digital payments arm PhonePe, a move seen aimed at attracting external capital for the firm. PhonePe’s board of directors will consist of co-founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, along with Binny Bansal and Rohit Bhagat, who has stepped down from Flipkart’s board now.
Flipkart was valued at nearly $25 billion in July, when it announced a $1.2 billion fundraising led by Walmart. However, this was before PhonePe was spun off at an independent valuation of $5.5 billion.