In an unexpected turn of events, one of Zomato’s top executives, Gaurav Gupta, has walked away from the company. His exit comes two months after the company posted a smash-hit Initial public offering, with 38 times as many bids as shares on offer.
“I am taking a new turn in my life and will be starting a new chapter, taking a lot from this defining chapter of my life – the last 6 years at Zomato,” Gupta, who was a prominent face of the food-delivery company in the lead up to its July IPO, wrote in his parting email to employees. “We have a great team now to take Zomato forward and it is time for me to take an alternate path in my journey. I am very emotional as I write this and do not think any words can do justice to how I am feeling right now.”
Who is Gupta?
In 2018, he was bumped up to the chief operating officer and a year after that, he was promoted to co-founder. In his most recent role, Gupta served as the company’s head of supply.
The Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management graduate was the first Zomato employee to be elevated to co-founder under the “Zomato Founder Program,” which rewards people who have contributed to the company by consistently demonstrating a “founder’s mindset”, building and scaling up businesses with passion, commitment and perseverance.
But despite his impressive career, Gupta’s exit was reportedly inevitable because of a fallout between Gupta and CEO Deepinder Goyal, according to MoneyControl.
As a public company, any shuffle within senior management will precipitate a reaction – and this time is no different. On September 14, when the news of Gupta’s departure broke, the company’s share price fell almost 2%.
While one high-profile exit is manageable, if several follow, it could be cause for alarm. When executives and employees quit en masse after their firm comes into money, “the company usually goes belly up,” warns clinical psychologist Steven Goldbart.
Meanwhile, the company is making several housekeeping moves as part of its post-IPO cleanup. Earlier this month, it shut its UK and Singapore businesses. Come September 17, it will shutter its second grocery delivery pilot due to gaps in order fulfilment. The company has also pulled the plug on its nutraceutical business (food-related products with claimed medical or health benefits).
Goyal, though, claims there is no cause for concern. “There is so much of our journey still ahead of us,” he wrote in response to Gupta’s email. “I am thankful that you are hanging your boots at a point where we have a great team and leadership to carry us forward.”
This article first appeared on Quartz.