Rakuten India appoints former Flipkart Senior Director Sunil Gopinath as new CEO

Sainul Abudheen

Gopinath quit Flipkart in July last year after a two-year stint when the e-commerce firm was going through a rough patch

Japanese e-commerce and electronics honcho Rakuten has elevated Sunil Gopinath as the CEO of its subsidiary Rakuten India Enterprise. He is replacing Umesh Biradar, who will shift focus to concentrate on other Rakuten group initiatives in the US, leading the Globalisation Strategy Office.

“I’m looking forward to establishing a strong leadership team and a world-class product and technology organisation at Rakuten India that will play a leading role in developing innovative data and insights driven products for Rakuten’s global businesses,” said Gopinath. “By accelerating our efforts to hire great engineering and product talent in India, we will drive innovation in the development of global integrated cloud, communications, entertainment and e-commerce services.”

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Gopinath joined Rakuten India in 2016 as Senior Vice President (Products and Technology) and has lead efforts to establish the product development portfolio. Prior to joining Rakuten, he has held senior product and technology management leadership roles at several global technology companies.

Rakuten India CEO Sunil Gopinath

Rakuten India CEO Sunil Gopinath

In the past, he worked at Flipkart as Senior Director (Products andUX Design) at the Marketplace division. He quit the firm in July last year after a two-year stint, amidst reports of top-level exits when it was going through a rough patch. Previously, he was Director (Product Management & User Experience Design) at eBay, which is currently in talks to sell to Flipkart. Prior to that, he worked in senior product leadership positions in global technology companies like Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm.

Gopinath holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MS in Computer Science from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Mysore.

Rakuten India also recently appointed Naren Narayana as Chief Operating Officer, and roped in technology industry veteran Shreedhar Patwari to the product R&D leadership team.

Established in 2014, Rakuten India is a key product R&D centre in the group network. Based out of Bangalore, it provides e-commerce related engineering and mobile developmental initiatives along with innovative data and insight products for Rakuten’s global e-commerce operations. It also manages Rakuten’s global network and security operations to provide secure global cloud and network infrastructure services.

Founded in 1997, Tokyo-headquartered Rakuten is one of the world’s leading internet services companies, offering a wide variety of services for consumers and businesses with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. It is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Rakuten currently employs over 14,000 employees worldwide.

In March last year, Rakuten closed its marketplaces in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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