Fintech startup BharatPe on Monday said its chief executive Suhail Sameer will step down from the CEO role to become a strategic adviser with effect January 7, 2023.

This, according to the startup, will ensure a smooth transition for current CFO, Nalin Negi who has been appointed interim CEO to partner with senior executives to bolster execution in all phases of the company's business.

The board of directors has retained an executive search firm to assist with succession planning and the critical CEO search, it says.

"We have recognized the need to dedicate time and resources to finding the leader who will continue to catapult BharatPe to new heights, and we are grateful for the commitment from Suhail and Nalin. We look forward to supporting Nalin Negi in his role as the interim-CEO, as we move ahead in our mission of empowering millions of MSMEs with a range of world-class financial products," says Rajnish Kumar, chairman, BharatPe board.

Commenting on the development, Sameer said, "I remain committed to supporting BharatPe achieve its growth potential in the role as Strategic Advisor and look forward to the next phase of my own journey as a full-time investor."

Nalin Negi joined BharatPe in August as chief financial officer. He brings over 28 years of experience and the last 15 years of that has been in banking and financial services, having worked at renowned brands like GE Capital and SBI Card. Most recently, Nalin was the CFO of SBI Card for over ten years, where he spearheaded strategic initiatives including leading SBI Card's IPO in March 2020. Nalin has also worked in the past as Co-CEO for the GE SBI credit card venture.

"Nalin's extensive experience in the fintech industry makes him a natural choice to lead the company during our search process," said Kumar. "His in-depth knowledge of banking and financial services will help BharatPe continue to scale and grow for the future."

"I'm grateful for this opportunity and am excited to lead BharatPe through this critical and exciting transition period for the company," said Nalin Negi "We remain fully committed to our employees and customers and look forward to our continued success as a fintech leader in India."

This comes weeks after the fintech unicorn initiated civil and criminal action against Ashneer Grover, the company's now-ousted co-founder, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, who was the company's former head of controls, and Grovers' relatives in relation to misappropriation of funds.

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