Facebook says India MD Kirthiga Reddy’s US move not linked with Free Basics

Facebook says the stepping down of its India Managing Director, Kirthiga Reddy, has nothing to do with the controversy around Free Basics.

By: Tech Desk | Updated: February 15, 2016 10:07 am
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Facebook has said that the stepping down of its India Managing Director, Kirthiga Reddy, has nothing to do with the controversy around Free Basics. Facebook India head Reddy announced on Friday, that she was stepping down from her current role and will re-locate to the US for a new position at Menlo Park.

Reddy’s decision to move back caused some speculation that it was due to the Facebook Free Basics controversy, which ended with the service getting shut down in India after TRAI ruled against differential pricing and zero-rating platforms.

Now a Facebook spokesperson issued a statement on the matter, seeking to quash any speculations. “As she had planned for some time, Kirthiga Reddy is moving back to the US to work with the teams in Headquarters. We are extremely proud of the work she has done to grow our global sales business in India,” said the statement.

The spokesperson added that during her time in India, Kirthiga was not involved in the company’s Free Basic Services efforts.

Reddy in her post said she along with William Easton, Managing Director of Emerging Markets (APAC) and Dan Neary, VP Asia Pacific, have started looking for her successor in India.

“When my family relocated to India, we knew that we would move back to the US some day. It’s a bittersweet moment to share that the return timeframe is coming up in the next 6-12 months,” Reddy said in a post on the social networking site on Friday.

“It will be business as usual over the next 6-12 months. I am working closely with William Easton and Dan Neary as we search for my successor in India. I have also begun to explore new opportunities at Facebook back at Menlo Park,” she added. Read her full Facebook here.

Reddy added in her statement, “I could not be more excited about where the Facebook business is in India, where we are going and what’s to come. Over the last six years, starting as the first employee for Facebook in India, I have had the privilege to be part of our amazing growth journey — from our operations in Hyderabad to being a business partner for our clients as they build their brands and grow their business in this mobile-first world. Above all, it’s all been about our mission: “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” We have only just begun.

TRAI on Monday issued a new order prohibiting all differential pricing data plans, and thus effectively banned Free Basics by Facebook. Facebook on Thursday confirmed that it was shutting down the app in India.