Economy & Business

    Byju's shareholders vote to remove founder Raveendran from CEO post; company calls vote invalid

    The Hawk
    February23/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Shareholders of Byju's vote for CEO removal over alleged mismanagement, while the company disputes the validity of the vote, sparking a corporate governance controversy.

    Byju's CEO Raveendran

    New Delhi: More than 60 per cent of shareholders of edtech firm Byju's on Friday voted for the removal of founder and CEO Byju Raveendran and his family over alleged "mismanagement and failures" at what was once India's hottest tech startup, but the company dug in its heels, calling the voting done in the absence of founders as "invalid".

    Prosus - one of the six investors who had called the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) - in a statement said "shareholders unanimously passed all resolutions put forward for vote.

    "These included a request for the resolution of the outstanding governance, financial mismanagement and compliance issues at Byju's; the reconstitution of the board of directors, so that it is no longer controlled by the founder of T&L; and a change of leadership of the company."

    Raveendran and his family stayed away from the EGM, calling it "procedurally invalid."

    However, the outcome of the vote at the EGM will not be applicable until March 13, when the Karnataka High Court will next hear Raveendran's plea challenging the move by certain investors to call the EGM.

    The High Court on Wednesday had refused to stay the EGM, called by shareholders collectively holding more than 32 per cent stake in Think & Learn (T&L) - the firm that operates Byju's, but any resolution passed shall not be given effect till the next date of hearing.

    Raveendran and family own 26.3 per cent in the company.

    Byju's in a statement, issued even before the EGM results were declared, said it "firmly declares that the resolutions passed during the recently concluded EGM -- attended by a small cohort of select shareholders - are invalid and ineffective. The passing of the unenforceable resolutions challenges the rule of law at worst."