Ahead of the expected IPO by Walmart-owned Flipkart late next year or early 2022, the company has made key changes to its board. Flipkart will be adding Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy along with HDFC’s Vice Chairman and CEO Keki Mistry, Walmart’s Global Chief Technology Officer Suresh Kumar, and Walmart International’s Executive Vice President of International Strategy and Development Leigh Hopkins to its board as new directors from next year, according to an email shared by Krishnamurthy with Flipkart’s employees on Thursday.
A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the new additions to the board with Financial Express Online.
However, the move would also see the exit of current members including Steuart Walton, member of the billionaire Walton family from Walmart, Dirk Van den Berghe – the executive vice president, global sourcing and regional chief executive officer of Asia for Walmart, MakeMyTrip’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Rajesh Magow who had rejoined the board back in 2017, around two years after exiting it and will now take on an advisory role; and Flipkart’s independent director Rohit Bhagat who will join PhonePe board as Chair.
“I am happy to share with you all 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 said in the email.
Earlier this year, Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs speaking at the UBS Global Consumer & Retail Conference in March had said in response to a question that “Yes, we’ve talked about longer-term that IPO is a potential for that business. I can tell you, it runs pretty independently right now and that’s when you buy a business like that, that’s what you want it to do.” Flipkart had recently reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to explore a US-bound IPO to raise around $10 billion even as Walmart had stated in a May 9, 2018 filing with the US SEC that it may take Flipkart public in four years (around 2022) at a valuation no less than what it invested in Flipkart. Walmart had bought 77 per cent of Flipkart for $16 billion to take on arch-rival Amazon.
“An initial public offering has always been part of Flipkart’s long-term strategy. However, the focus at present is on growth and democratizing commerce in India through technology, while continuing to unlock customer value,” Flipkart had told Financial Express Online in a statement. Its marketplace — Flipkart Internet had reported a 32 per cent jump in revenues to Rs 6,317.7 crore in FY20 up and a 19 per cent increase in losses to Rs 1,936.6 crore in FY20.