Exclusive: Ola CMO said to have quit, CFO Bansal may follow suit

Raghuvesh Sarup

Raghuvesh Sarup

Top-level churn seems to be brewing at Ola with its chief marketing officer (CMO) Raghuvesh Sarup said to have quit the cab-hailing company, according to multiple people aware of the development. Two persons with direct access to the information told Techcircle that chief financial officer (CFO) Rajiv Bansal may also be on his way out. However, Techcircle could not independently verify this information.

When contacted, an Ola spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on speculation.”

Sarup, who joined ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd-owned Ola a year ago, was CMO, senior vice president and head of categories at the company, handling critical functions. All vertical heads were 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.

Former Infosys CFO Rajiv Bansal had joined Ola in mid-2015.

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 lead investor SoftBank 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 veteran Vishal Kaul as chief operating officer and designating the incumbent COO Pranay Jivrajka as founding partner, has seen some senior-level exits in 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.