NEW DELHI: In the midst ofReliance Retailtaking overthe Future Group, the Kishore Biyani-led company is seeing some of its long-time senior executives abandoning ship. In recent weeks, Vineet Jain, CEO for North, quit the group after 17 years with the company. His southern counterpart Venkateswar Kumar, has also put in his papers, three persons familiar with the development, said.
“Venkateshwar is currently serving his notice period,” said one of the persons. Kumar is also a Future Group veteran of more than 15 years with the company.
Last month, Jain joined value retailer V-Mart Retail Ltd as the new chief operating officer. Aruni Mishra, business head for general merchandise at Big Bazaar, quit Future Group last month.
“People are exiting as how long can you stick around in this uncertainty?” asked another senior official of Future Group who is scheduled to leave the company early next year after more than a decade.
A Future Group spokesperson declined to comment on the exits.
In August, Reliance announced that it would acquire the nation’s second largest retail enterprise, Future Group, for Rs 24,713 crore in a deal that would give it control over more than a third of India’s $80 billion annual organised retailing business.
The departures of the senior executives are happening amid a case filed by Amazon in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre challenging the sell-off of Future Group’s assets to Reliance.Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLChad accused Future Coupons – the promoter entity ofFuture Retailin which Amazon owns 49% stake – of breaching of a contract signed between the promoter company and the US giant.
Amazon argues that according to the shareholder agreement of 2019 – when Amazon invested Rs 1,400 crore in Future Coupons – gives the US e-commerce giant the first right of refusal of purchasing stake in the entity that owns 7.3% of Kishore Biyani’s listed flagship, Future Retail.
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