The head of Flipkart, the Indian Walmart online retailer bought in May, retired on Tuesday following an independent investigation into allegations of "serious personal misconduct".
Binny Bansal, co-founder and chief executive of Flipkart, resigned after a law firm's investigation, revealed "crisis failures," Walmart said.
But six months later, the deal has lost some of its gloss. Walmart told investors in October that the Flipkart market would wake up about $ 740 million from its quarterly profit.
The sudden departure of Bansal, which founded Flipkart in 2007, is the second blow in two months.
Bansal "surprised" by allegations
In a statement, Walmart said Bansal firmly denied the allegations made against him. The company told CNN Business that it first discovered the allegations in July of this year.
Mr Bansal told Flipkart officials that he was "stunned" by the allegations, according to a Walmart letter shared with CNN Business.
"While the investigation did not find any evidence to confirm the complainant's allegations against Binny, they revealed other failures in the crisis, particularly a lack of transparency, on how Binny responded to the" the company said in her statement.
"Binny has been an important part of Flipkart since he founded the company, but recent events were in danger of being distorted," he added.
Walmart's representatives declined to comment further on the allegations.
Bansal was Managing Director of the broader Flipkart Group, which includes affiliates such as PhonePe Phone Payments Company and Myntra and Jabong fashion retailers. It retained this role when Walmart took over in May. Co-founder Sachin Bansal – the then president of the company – chose to leave. (The two men are not related.)
Walmart said on Tuesday that Binny Bansal had "examine the transition for some time" and that it is accelerating a succession plan that was already in the works.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Managing Director of the group's main e-commerce business, will remain in this role, but will take responsibility for fashion retailers. CEO PhonePe Sameer Nigam and Krishnamurthy will both report directly to the Flipkart board.
"We have full confidence in the strength and depth of leadership across the company," said Walmart.
In his resignation letter to employees of Flipkart, Bansal said it plans to stay for a few more units to continue the transition after the Walmart deal closes.
"However, my decision to leave was accelerated by some personal events that took place in the recent past," he wrote.
Bansal added that he will continue to serve on the board of Flipkart and will remain a "big shareholder".
A Great Opportunity & # 39;
In an interview with CNN Business in October, Bansal talked about Flipkart's importance for Walmart and about the company's plans for the future.
"For Walmart, India was a tremendous opportunity you should not miss," he said. "The future of retailing is obviously e-commerce, so Flipkart was a good partner of choice."
It identified areas such as furniture, groceries and digital payments as key focus areas for the next decade.
"From a five-year, ten-year perspective … we want to build an ecosystem around hundreds of millions of customers in India," he said. "It's a huge country, a huge opportunity."