byjus: Byju’s loses WhiteHat Jr CEO Ananya Tripathi in another top-level exit


WhiteHat Jr chief executive Ananya Tripathi has joined the ranks of top leaders exiting its troubled edtech parent Byju’s. Tripathi has tendered her resignation, which is yet to be accepted by the company, a person directly familiar with the matter told ET.

A Byju’s spokesperson did not respond to ET’s request for comment.

Tripathi was one of at least five business vertical heads who reported to Mrinal Mohit, Byju’s India business head. Four of them, including Tripathi, have quit the firm since June, ET reported on Tuesday.

Tripathi had been on a maternity break since May 2023.

Other leaders reporting to Mohit who quit in recent months include Mukut Deepak, Pratyusha Agarwal and Himanshu Bajaj.

On Tuesday, Byju’s consolidated four verticals into two, K-10 and exam preparation, as part of moves to restructure its mainstay business. The Bengaluru-based startup’s mainstay in India was divided across four main categories — K3 or Early Learn, 4th to 10th class levels, 11th and 12th class levels, and offline Byju’s Tuition Centres (BTC).

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Byju’s had acquired WhiteHat Jr in an all-cash deal worth $300 million in 2020, marking its entry into the computer code learning segment, with a focus on high school and college students. However, since 2022, Byju’s has been winding down the coding platform.Industry experts told ET that WhiteHat Jr was not doing well as was any business that focussed solely on teaching software coding to children. Schools, which have fully opened up since early 2022, have increasingly started integrating coding into their curriculum.

WhiteHat Jr has been restructuring since 2022. The process began in May when 800 employees resigned after being asked to work from the office. In June, the code-teaching startup for kids laid off around 300 full-time employees.

In November, the company reportedly let go of more employees without severance pay in another new round of layoffs. It was then in the news for considering a complete shuttering down of the business.

Byju’s, India’s largest edtech as well as the country’s most valued startup, has been embroiled in multiple issues from corporate governance and financials to legal tussles surrounding a $1.2-billion loan and incessant firings across the organisation to save capital.

The company recently appointed former State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar and former Infosys chief financial officer Mohandas Pai to its board advisory committee (BAC).

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