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Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 18:37 IST

Critical Showdown at Byju: Shareholders to Vote on CEO Ouster Raveendran

The court, on Wednesday, declined to stay the EGM initiated by shareholders holding over 32 per cent stake, with Raveendran's family owning 26.3 per cent.

Reported by: Business Desk
BYJU'S
BYJU'S | Image:X Photo
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Ouster for CEO: Byju's shareholders are gearing up for a decisive vote on a resolution to oust founder and CEO Byju Raveendran and his family members. The vote, scheduled for Friday at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), follows allegations of mismanagement and failures that have shadowed what was once India's leading tech startup.

While the outcome of the vote won't be implemented until March 13, pending a Karnataka High Court hearing on Raveendran's plea challenging the move, tensions are running high. The court, on Wednesday, declined to stay the EGM initiated by shareholders holding over 32 per cent stake, with Raveendran's family owning 26.3 per cent.

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The proposed resolution targets the removal of the current board of Think & Learn, the entity operating Byju's, which includes Raveendran, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and his brother Riju Ravindran. The educational technology firm, once valued at $22 billion in 2022, has seen a stark decline to $200 million in a recent rights issue.

Raveendran has sought to reassure investors, pledging increased transparency on fund utilization and committing to a board restructuring. Allegations cited in the EGM notice range from financial mismanagement and erosion of value to failure in enforcing legal rights and concealing material information.

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The notice sheds light on issues such as a show cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate, conflicts with the BCCI over cricket sponsorship, and accusations of Raveendran misleading shareholders about a term loan. Additional charges include audit delays, payment delays of statutory obligations, and obligations to employees.

Supported by major stakeholders including General Atlantic, Peak XV, Sofina, Chan Zuckerberg, Owl, and Sands, who collectively hold about 30 per cent stake, the EGM outcome will significantly shape the leadership and trajectory of one of India's prominent edtech players. The looming vote underscores the challenges faced by Byju amid a shifting landscape in the tech sector.

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 18:37 IST

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