We thought CFO Joy Basu’s exit was the big news of the day from Rediff.com (NSDQ: REDF). It now emerges that Zaki Ansari, vice president for product development and one of the earliest members of the team, quit the internet firm this morning. Ansari worked at the Nasdaq-listed firm for 14 years now. He declined comment.
Ansari has been responsible for several of Rediff’s key properties, Rediff Moneywiz being the latest in a string of traffic pullers. There is no word yet on where he is headed, although we are hearing Web18 is the next destination. Web18 CEO Surya Mantha declined to comment.
There is usually some underlying factor playing out when senior long-time staffers like Ansari and Basu (who has spent seven years at the firm) decide to leave within a short span of time. Though we haven’t had much success with confirming this, we have heard, at industry gatherings and informally, that there has been a stream of exits from Rediff middle management in the past few months. If you know of such exits, please leave a comment, or use the anonymous tip box on the home page. When CEO Ajit Balakrishnan was asked about this at a recent concall, he said the company is well staffed and that his people are sought after in the market because of the excellent training they receive at Rediff.
Rediff recently went through a comprehensive design overhaul, which has drawn mixed reactions from people. Rediff.com is India’s largest portal.
Update: Following are some of the exits from Rediff over the past year or so. VP Jasmeet Gandhi, who worked at Rediff for 12 years, left to join Nokia (NYSE: NOK) India in July 2008. Senior vice president Uday Sodhi, who spent more than five years at Rediff, left in February this year. Manish Agarwal, VP, marketing, had left a little more than a year ago to join Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). He subsequently joined UTV New Media as CEO. Arvindra Kanwal, chief media revenue officer, left in November 2008 after spending five years at Rediff. He joined Webaroo.com. VP strategic affairs Preeti Desai and VP finance Debabrata Saha also left the company during this period.