OYO founder and Group CEO, Ritesh Agarwal

OYO announces leadership team reshuffle

India: SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO Hotels and Homes has announced a reshuffle in its leadership team, including appointments and promotions in verticals such as technology, supply and product.

Leading the way is the appointment of Ankit Mathuria has been appointed as the startup’s new CTO, succeeding Anil Goel in the process. Mathuria brings more than 15 years of experience and technical knowledge to the role, having previously worked at Amazon and one of its subsidiaries, Souq, in the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] region.

Chief business development officer Ayush Mathur becomes the global chief supply officer, global COO Abhinav Sinha will be the interim chief product officer in addition to his existing role, while chief growth officer Kavikrut will co-lead the global brand and communications teams.

At OYO Vacation Homes, the startup’s vacation rental arm, CPO Rahul Sahni, CFO Deepak Goyal and OYO SEAME COO Guruprasad Sankaranarayanan have been promoted to senior vice presidents, in addition to their new positions. Chief of business performance management, Varun Jain, will be the SVP for the segment, and Vineet Pandita has been promoted to SVP for engineering from the VP position.

Other appointments / promotions include:

  • OYO China CEO Gautam Swaroop will lead OYO International, including the US and EU markets
  • Prasun Choudhary has been appointed as the president of OYO International
  • Rishabh Gupta, the current head of EU hotels, will lead the global capital and positioning strategy
  • OYO China CFO Della Zhang and CHRO Jessie Yang have been promoted to oversee OYO’s business in China and Europe
  • OYO China head Ping Wang will take charge as the president and COO for China market
  • Sharad Saxena, who takes over from Harshit Vyas, will be the SVP and COO for OYO in India and South Asia
  • Abhinav Ankur will be the SVP, and chief strategy and transformation officer

Ritesh Agarwal, founder and Group CEO, OYO Hotels and Homes, said: “2021 will be the year of OYO’s resurgence, as we focus on building best-in-class products and experience for our guests, partners, employees, and all stakeholders of the OYO ecosystem. Strong leadership has always been instrumental at OYO to make an impact and succeed by enhancing our operational efficiency, brand love, and profitability.

“I am confident that these leaders will keep inspiring OYOpreneurs all around the world. I’m looking forward to the OYO we will build together,” he added.

OYO is said to have seen its value drop from $10 billion to $8 billion in 2020, with the startup’s operations being heavily restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Agarwal recorded a video message to highlight that the chain had suffered an estimated 15-20 per cent drop in revenue and occupancy and also confirmed that OYO’s revenue in March had plummeted by 50 to 60 per cent across its global locations.

The CEO said in April last year that OYO was placing a “certain number” of its employees on furlough and temporary leave “in the US and other countries”, including in China, where some 3000 staff members were affected. The chain also reportedly laid off around 90 per cent of its workers, or ‘OYOpreneurs’, in the United States across two major rounds of redundancies.

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