Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce company, sparked a bidding war between U.S. giants Amazon and Walmart this year—the winning bid for a majority stake from the latter was an eye-popping $16 billion. Less than half a year later, its co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal has reportedly stepped down following an accusation of sexual assault.
The allegation came from a former employee, and related to an incident some years back, according to Reuters. Bansal denies the claims, and a Walmart internal investigation could not “corroborate the complainant’s assertions,” according to an unusual SEC filing about the CEO’s departure (emphasis ours):
His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of serious personal misconduct. He strongly denies the allegation. Nevertheless, we had a responsibility to ensure the investigation was deliberate and thorough. While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign.
We’ve reached out to Walmart for information on what lapses in judgement in Bansal’s response are being referred to here and will update if we hear back.
Bansal’s role will be filled by Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who previously held a subordinate CEO position.
Update 11/13/18 11:51am EDT: Someone familiar with the matter clarified that those odd passages in the SEC filing were meant to reflect Binny’s lack of cooperation with the internal investigation.