While it’s chalking out an ambitious retail expansion and growth plan, Reliance Retail has seen the departure of one its senior most executive at such an important juncture. Bijou Kurien, Chief Executive and President (Lifestyle), also part of the original team which built Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, has put in his papers after serving for seven years in the company. Kurien has also resigned from the boards of the joint ventures with Marks & Spencer and Vision Express, among others. An alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur, he spent 19 years at Titan Industries, where he was Chief Operating Officer, before moving to Reliance Retail. He had started his career at Hindustan Unilver as a management trainee.

Reliance Retail began its journey in 2006 by launching stores with the late Raghu Pillai, Gunender Kapoor, Sanjeev Asthana and Kurien at the helm of affairs. Kurien was among the last ones from the original top team to have continued working with the company. In late 2009, Reliance Retail did a major restructuring by bringing on board executives from Tesco Lotus, including Gwyn Sundhagul, Chief Marketing Officer and Director, who joined as CEO of the value format. In mid-2011, it hired Rob Cissel, former Chief Operating Officer at Walmart China, as CEO of the value formats, replacing Sundhagul, whereas Shawn Gray, Vice-President at Walmart China, joined as Chief Operations Officer.