25 May 2016 07:52:57 IST

Snapdeal’s Chief Product Officer quits

Fourth casualty in the top leadershipin last six months

E-commerce marketplace Snapdeal on Tuesday saw its fourth casualty in the top leadership in last six months. Anand Chandrasekaran, the Chief Product Officer at the Delhi-based ecommerce firm has quit the company within a year of joining. Earlier this year, Srinivas Murthy had quit as Marketing Head. In November 2015, Bhuvan Gupta had quit as vice-president-Engineering.

Anand Chandrasekaran

According to sources within the company, Chandrasekaran, who joined Snapdeal from Bharti Airtel in June 2015, was responsible to drive the technology and product vertical for the company, but was facing internal competition from Rajiv Mangla, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), as Mangla’s and Chandrasekaran’s roles clashed. Snapdeal had hired Mangla, an ex-Adobe, in May last year.

Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal tweeted about Chandrasekaran’s exit and said, “Proud of the super work by you and the product team. Hard to believe that this was just 1 yr. Farewell, keep rocking!”

Before Bharti Airtel, Chandrasekaran had a stint with Yahoo as a Senior Director in California, US. Prior to Yahoo, he was Director of Products at Openwave. In 2001, Chandrasekaran had co-founded Aeroprise, said to be the world’s most widely deployed mobility solution for IT service management.

According to sources, Chandrasekaran’s exit talks a lot about Snapdeal’s financial health. While the company has not been able to raise funds in the last one year, the burn rate has not come down. According to highly placed sources, the Alibaba- and SoftBank-backed company has laid off 500 people in its L1 category (which consists of call-centre executives). It is also on a mission to downsize the headcount to half by next month.

Lay offs A company insider, affected by the scaling down, said on the condition of anonymity, “The plan at Snapdeal is to bring down the headcount to 3,000 from 6,000 over the next few months. The plan is to bring down employee cost so as to improve margins. There has been no hiring in the last seven months. But laying off people to cut cost is inhuman.”

However, responding to a BusinessLine query earlier, a Snapdeal spokesperson had said: “We have no plan to reduce the team strength in any of the functions or verticals at Snapdeal. We have neither laid-off nor do we intend to lay off anybody across the company. We believe in top rewards for top performers and offer fast-track opportunities to grow to higher levels of responsibilities within the Snapdeal ecosystem.”