Thursday 14 October 2021

Flipkart appoints Myntra executive Ayyappan R as Cleartrip CEO in a big restructuring move


Flipkart appoints Myntra executive Ayyappan R as Cleartrip CEO in a big restructuring moveOnline retail major Flipkart, which acquired a 100% stake in Cleartrip, one of the oldest travel booking portals in India, has appointed a new CEO for the business. Ayyappan R, who has been the chief business officer at Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra, has been elevated to a new position as CEO of Cleartrip, according to sources aware of the matter.

Stuart Crighton, who cofounded the travel venture with Hrush Bhatt and Matthew Spacie in 2006, will move to a new role where he will lead Cleartrip International, sources added. Ayyappan R's role in Myntra will be taken over by Sharon Pais.

This is the first significant restructuring at Cleartrip being made by Flipkart after the web retailer acquired the travel portal in April this year aimed to diversify and strengthen its overall offerings.

At the time of the acquisition, the Walmart-owned e-commerce firm had said that Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand while working closely with Flipkart to further develop technology solutions.

Flipkart confirmed the development to ET.

The rejig in Cleartrip’s leadership comes at a time when the travel sector is recovering from the aftermath of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to see a significant rebound in activity amid the current festive season.

Cleartrip has been competing with bigger rivals like MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo, for the past decade. Other players in the sector are, Easemytrip, Yatra, and Ixigo among others.

Flipkart’s closest rival Amazon too has taken steps to diversify into the online travel and hotel booking segment. Till the time Flipkart acquired Cleartrip, these e-commerce companies had by and large forged partnerships with existing players in sectors . Flipkart had earlier struck a partnership with MakeMyTrip and later announced a similar tie-up with Ixigo two years ago. Amazon had said in 2019 that it had partnered with Cleartrip.

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