Shekar Natarajan is out as president of logistics provider Quiet Platforms.
In a statement issued late Monday, the company said that Natarajan had exited the company, effective immediately. His departure was due to disappointing results at Quiet and the need to pull back on expenses in order to “reset the business,” according to a memo from retailing giant AEO Inc. (NYSE: AEO), Quiet’s parent.
Niall Murphy, a longtime entrepreneur who joined Quiet in December as chief business officer, will assume interim operational oversight and responsibility for Quiet.
“We believe Quiet will continue to deliver results for AEO, and over time has the potential to be a meaningful and profitable third party logistics provider,” the parent said in a statement. “With the support of our experienced leadership team, we remain focused on driving the business forward.”
Quiet said it will be reducing head count to bring operations more in line with current trends. It did not specify. It has employees providing same-day and next-day delivery and fulfillment services in Los Angeles, Dallas, St. Louis and Jacksonville, Florida.
Natarajan was unavailable to comment on Tuesday. A story appearing Monday night on the website Insider cited an internal memo saying that he had left the company last week.
Natarajan was clearly the face of the fledgling company, and his departure, regardless of the circumstances, removes that. Quiet was established last year to provide physical and IT backbone to AEO and other retailers and to deliver parcels without relying on the established players. Its network had been growing rapidly as retailers migrated to a company that could stitch together first-mile, middle-mile and last-mile delivery services using a network of 40 carriers.
Natarajan was interviewed by FreightWaves earlier this year about his firm’s ability to scale fast to handle delivery surges in the event the Teamsters union strikes UPS Inc. (NYSE: UPS) this summer.
Natarajan said at the time that Quiet could do just that. “We went from zero to 50 million packages a year in nine months,” he said.