Big Moves At Beardo: CEO On Sabbatical, Top Executives Exit

Valani had first sold 45 per cent of Beardo to Marico in 2017 and then, about three years later, the FMCG giant bought the remaining 55 per cent and fully acquired the company in June 2020

Beginning on April 1, Sujot Malhotra, the CEO of Beardo, a men's grooming company that Marico acquired in June 2020, will take a year-long sabbatical, industry reports reveal. Malhotra, who had worked for the FMCG behemoth for more than 13 years, was appointed CEO as soon as Marico fully took control of it. 

However, all of the senior executives who were in charge of Beardo's initial growth are no longer with the company in the last three years after the acquisition. While Malhotra is on sabbatical, Beardo's head of marketing Darayus Mehta and head of finance and operations Ketan Jain have left Marico as well, reveal sources.

While Mehta has introduced his jewellery line, Malhotra's plan to return after a year-long hiatus is still unknown. Ashutosh Valani, a co-founder of Beardo, established Renee, a company that Jain has joined.

On this news, a Marico spokesperson says, "The exits of individuals mentioned were in the normal course of business and at different points in time where each of them decided to pursue external career/entrepreneurial opportunities after spending significant time with the Company. None of these exits have any inter-linkage with each other as suggested in the article. Beardo continues to be a key constituent of our Digital-first portfolio and has delivered well ahead of our internal aspirations so far. The brand has exhibited robust financial performance in terms of revenue and profitability while garnering a unique and strong brand presence in the premium male grooming market in India. We are confident that the business will continue to scale up profitably in the future as well."

Valani had first sold 45 per cent of Beardo to Marico in 2017 and then, about three years later, the FMCG giant bought the remaining 55 per cent and fully acquired the company in June 2020. The deal size was not disclosed.

Chief operating officer of Marico India, Sanjay Mishra, who was instrumental in closing the purchase at the time, also departed in September 2023.

It is seen that all of the senior executives who joined Marico and oversaw Beardo for more than three years have essentially left the FMCG behemoth.

According to sources, Malhotra's responsibilities will probably be split between two executives during his absence: Koteshwar LN, EVP and head of digital-first companies at Marico and Siddharth Vaya, chief business officer at Beardo.

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