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Exclusive: Ola in the midst of top level churn

01 February, 2017

Homegrown cab-hailing operator Ola is likely to witness two top-level exits soon. According to multiple people aware of the development, Ola’s chief marketing officer (CMO) Raghuvesh Sarup and chief financial officer (CFO) Rajiv Bansal may leave the company.

When Techcircle reached out to Ola for a comment, it first said in an email response: “We don’t comment on speculation.”

After the report was published, the company sent another email denying the development. “Your story and facts there are incorrect,” a company spokesperson said in the second email. In a telephone conversation facilitated by Ola, Sarup said that he hasn’t resigned.

Multiple people close to the development, however, confirmed the top-level churn at the company and said both Sarup and Bansal will soon be moving on.

Sarup, who joined ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd-owned Ola a year ago, worked in different roles at the company, including as the CMO, senior vice president and head of categories with all vertical heads reporting to him. A senior corporate executive with around 20 years of experience, Sarup was earlier head of sales at Microsoft India and Nokia India. At Nokia, he was also global head of product marketing.

Bansal, meanwhile, joined Ola from Infosys where he was the CFO of the tech company.

Ola, which offers app-based mobility solutions, was valued around $5 billion when it raised $500 million in August 2015. Three months later, it suffered a markdown by its lead investor SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications multinational, as it battled tough competition from its deep-pocketed global rival Uber.

Last August, Ola shut its subsidiary TaxiForSure and fired around 1,000 people, which was exclusively reported by Techcircle.

The company, which effected some top-level changes in January by bringing in Pepsi India veteran Vishal Kaul as chief operating officer and designating the incumbent COO Pranay Jivrajka as founding partner, has seen some senior-level exits in the recent months.

Sundeep Sahni, a high-profile hire who headed its new initiatives, and head of luxury cab service Ola Lux Abhimanyu Rawal, quit in December.

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Exclusive: Ola in the midst of top level churn

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