The open feud between Rahul Yadav and investors of Housing.com reached a climax today with the company board finally firing him and making it public in a statement. He was relieved from the company with immediate effect after Wednesday's board meeting. Yadav will no longer be an employee of the firm.
“The Housing board unanimously agreed to bring Yadav's tenure to a close, with reference to his behaviour towards investors, ecosystem and the media. The board believed that his behaviour is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company,” read a statement from Housing that was sent out immediately after the board meeting on Wednesday.
Rahul Yadav, the 26-year old IIT Bombay drop-out who co-founded Housing.com along with 11 batchmates, has recently grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons—he threatened Shailendra Singh, managing director of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in a public spat, took on Times Group and accused it of deliberately maligning Housing and attracted a legal notice, and shot off a caustic resignation letter in which he called the investors of the company ‘intellectually incapable’.
Despite all these, the board had allowed him to continue.
However, Yadav went on making snide remarks against investors on social networking websites. The company has made it clear that Yadav, who is also a co-founder of the company, will no longer be an employee of Housing and be associated with the company in any manner, going forward.
VCCircle has unsuccessfully tried to reach out to Yadav. He did not answer phone calls or respond to messages. A mail sent to his official mail id within minutes after the statement bounced back.
Many in the startup world had predicted the truce that the board and Yadav had arrived at in May, after he put in papers in a widely publicised imbroglio, would not last long.
Yadav, who enjoys open interactions through social networking sites such as Facebook, Quora and Reddit, had earlier shocked his investors and fellow co-founders by giving away his 4.57 per cent stake in the company to the employees of Housing.
The company said while the search for an interim CEO is underway, “current senior executives of Housing will continue to run the operations on a daily basis, and ensure its continued smooth functioning.” “The board and the operating committee will remain closely involved with all key decisions,” it said.
The operating committee led by lead investor SoftBank and Falcon Edge was formed in May to oversee the running of the company, after Yadav fell out with the investors.
Yadav, meanwhile, has given an impression that he remains unaffected by public discussions over his controversial exit from the company he co-founded.
Immediately after the board meeting he posted on Facebook:
[In a nutshell]
Board: CEO title of Housing.com. Take that away then what are you?
Me: A Genius Billionaire (in INR) Philanthropist.
In a previous Facebook post on Tuesday, he alluded investors as those who are “trying to block your way” and called Times Group “Joker of India,” throwing to wind any possibility of rapprochement, if that existed at all.
Investors of Housing had mandated executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find a CEO early this year as first reported by VCCircle.
According to people familiar with the development, Yadav had distanced from the day-to-day operations at Housing.com from May. Meanwhile, Yadav had made a few overseas business trips in the past few weeks and initiated strategic talks with overseas firms without taking the board into confidence. While those talks did not progress much, the move further deteriorated his equation with other members on the board.
The turn of events at the company has even prompted the investors to exploring a sale option, according to well-placed sources. With Yadav being out of the company, Housing.com wants to make a fresh beginning.
“The Housing board, investors, management team and employees are keen to see Housing maximise its huge potential in India and beyond, as well as run in professional and world class manner. This is part of their larger commitment to India and the startup ecosystem, which together remains unaffected and as strong as ever. The board thanks Yadav for his contributions and wishes him well, in his future endeavours,” summed up the statement from the company.