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Dhiraj Rajaram gains controlling stake in Mu Sigma; becomes CEO

Dhiraj Rajaram

Dhiraj Rajaram

The founder of data analytics firm Mu Sigma Inc., Dhiraj Rajaram, is back as the CEO of the company after his former wife Ambiga Subramanian stepped down from the post. Rajaram took over as the CEO last Friday.

Subramanian sold her entire stake to Rajaram, resulting in him having a controlling stake of 51.6%, on an undiluted basis. This makes Rajaram the first unicorn founder to own a majority stake in the firm. Subramanian will continue to be on the board and investors General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital will stay put in the company.

Financial terms between Subramanian and Rajaram “will be mutually worked upon as their personal family matter”.

“Ambiga has made a tremendous contribution to Mu Sigma. She has agreed to support me in continuing to build my dream and will continue to be on our board. It is good to finally put all distractions behind,” said Rajaram.

There was an Economic Times news report earlier this month that Subramanian may start out on her own.

In a statement, Subramanian denies this. She was not present at the press conference.

“Due to personal circumstances, it is time for me to move on from the management team of the company and do something different. All rumours about me starting up a competitive firm are untrue. While there is a lot of interest in the market to invest into a promising and profitable company like Mu Sigma, I have agreed to support Dhiraj’s interest to purchase my shares and get a controlling stake,” said Subramanian.

In a press conference held at the Mu Sigma office in Bengaluru, in front of employees, a seemingly emotional and animated Rajaram said, the past few months “have been hard, personally.”

“I have a 13-year-old boy who reads newspapers. It had been made more public than I would have loved to,” said Rajaram.

India- and US-based Mu Sigma Inc’s founder and chairman Dhiraj Rajaram and wife Ambiga had got a divorce in May, a move that raised concerns over the future management of the company.

Both are US citizens.

Rajaram founded Mu Sigma in 2004. Ambiga succeeded him as CEO in February this year. She has been working with Mu Sigma for about eight years and was the first woman CEO at an Indian unicorn.

Mu Sigma helps companies institutionalize data-driven decision making and harness Big Data. It claims to have about 3,500 decision science professionals and almost 140 Fortune 500 clients. Mu Sigma is one of a handful of Indian unicorns. Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola, One97 Communications, InMobi and Zomato are the other known unicorns from India.

The company has raised $211 million from investors—MasterCard, Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic and is valued around $1.5 billion.

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