News Startups Ropes In COO Rishabh Gupta As Interim CEO

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Dust is settling down at Housing. Even if it is not, it appears that way. After that dramatic firing of Housing’s ‘maverick’ CEO and Co-Founder Rahul Yadav, the Softbank-backed real-estate platform has appointed COO Rishabh Gupta as its interim CEO. The same was revealed in an internal mail sent by Jonathan Bullock, reports Economic Times.

The appointment, effective immediately, was announced by prolific investor Jonathan Bullock, SoftBank’s representative on Housing’s board, in an email to employees aptly titled ”Moving forward & Looking up’.  The decision was simple: Gupta was a frontrunner since he handled the portal amid the controversies the company got embroiled into, including Rahul Yadav’s spiteful letters to board members and venture capitalists.

“We believe and expect that his principled leadership, tenacity, and determination will position us well,” Bullock said in the email sent to Housing employees on Thursday evening. “These changes are both necessary and timely,” the email further said.

An operating committee has been constituted to manage the massively valued (a staggering Rs 1500 crore) but hugely diluted start-up, which comprises current CEO Gupta, Housing’s first angel investor Haresh Chawla, and chief technical officer Abhishek Anand.

As far as ownership is concerned, Japanese investor Softbank currently owns 32% of stock in the firm, Investor Nexus venture owns about 19% stake in Housing, and Helion Ventures and Falcon Edge about 10% each.

Things are “looking up” for the start-up, which despite being a poster boy of sorts of the Indian startup ecosystem, reached an all-time low, largely due to the-then CEO Rahul Yadav’s ‘maverick’ PR activities and later, a take-down of the website, reportedly by company’s own employees.

Rishabh Gupta has come at a turbulent time and has a broken ship to steer. Here’s hoping Rishabh Gupta is brings in much-needed (but largely absent) maturity into the role of Housing CEO.


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