Flipkart general counsel and legal head Rajinder Sharma has resigned from the company, joining the growing list of senior managers to leave the online marketplace this year.
Sharma, who was earlier the legal head at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd’s south and west Asian unit, joined Flipkart last September. Flipkart confirmed the development without sharing any specific details about the departure. Sharma will leave the firm this week.
As per a report, Flipkart Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Baweja will temporarily head the legal function until the firm finds a new legal head.
Sharma’s exit comes at a time when e-commerce marketplaces are dealing with multiple regulatory issues related to the Government’s approval of foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce.
In March 2016, the Government allowed 100 per cent FDI in online retail of goods and services under the marketplace model, seeking to legitimize the existing businesses of e-commerce companies in India.
However, it added two riders that have forced online retailers to restructure their businesses. First, marketplaces cannot influence pricing of products and services on their platforms, directly or indirectly and second that one seller cannot contribute more than 25 per cent of sales of any marketplace.
At least four senior executives have quit Flipkart over the past six months. Sharma will become the fifth senior leader to leave Flipkart this year. In addition to the Government regulations, the company is facing constant valuation markdowns and fierce competition from rival Amazon India.
Punit Soni, Flipkart’s high profile catch from Silicon Valley, quit the company in April this year, after joining a company a year ago. Other high profile exits include Flipkart’s former Head of Commerce & Advertising and Chairman of Myntra, Mukesh Bansal and Chief Business Officer, Ankit Nagori, who left the company together, in February, to start their own tech ventures. Manish Maheshwari, the Head of Seller Marketplace and Ecosystem at Flipkart, too, left the online retailer in April this month to join Web18 as its Chief Executive Officer.
In 2015, a total of 16 senior executives quit Flipkart and its lifestyle e-tailing unit Myntra. While some moved on to take up senior positions in other tech startups, some donned the entrepreneur’s hat.