In the latest turn of events, three key executives at BYJU’s — Prathyusha Agarwal, Chief Business Officer; Himanshu Bajaj, Head of BYJU’s Tuition Centers; and Mukut Deepak, Business Head for Class 4 to 10 — have parted ways with the Bengaluru-based edtech behemoth. Their departure is linked to the ongoing organizational reshuffling aimed at bolstering profitability and streamlined growth.
BYJU’s spokesperson attributed the high-profile exits to a strategic consolidation of business verticals. The company is combining its four existing sectors into two: K-10 education, led by Ramesh Karra, and exam preparation, overseen by Jitesh Shah. This move comes as BYJU’s grapples with multiple corporate issues including delayed financial filings, board member resignations, and valuation markdowns from key investors.
Recently, Baron Capital, a U.S.-based investor, cut the valuation of its BYJU’S holdings by half, now valuing the company at $12 billion. This is a substantial decline from its previous valuation of $22 billion. The investment firm cited waning business momentum, especially as the COVID-19 boost for online education begins to fade.
Alongside the executive exits, BYJU’S has also seen prominent board members stepping down due to operational differences with the founder, Byju Raveendran. The company has switched its audit firm from Deloitte to BDO, citing delays in publishing its FY22 financial results.
The tech leader is in talks with various creditors, including Term Loan B lenders and New York-based Davidson Kempner Capital, as it awaits an infusion of funds to buoy its operations.
In an effort to arrest the slide, BYJU’s is taking various steps including the formation of a board advisory council. Industry stalwarts such as TV Mohandas Pai and Rajnish Kumar have been brought in as advisors. Richard Lobo has been newly appointed as the head of Human Resources and is slated to assume his responsibilities in September.
The corporate reshuffling follows the layoffs of over 4,000 employees in the past year and the abandoning of its largest office space in Bengaluru to cut operational costs. The company has pledged to release its financial statements for FY22 by September this year, following an 18-month delay in publishing its FY21 financials which revealed Rs. 4,588 crore in losses.
As BYJU’s navigates through these trying times, the company aims to reposition itself for sustainable growth and profitability, but only time will tell how successful these changes will be in reviving the edtech giant.