In a suspected scandalous internal tumult, 10 top executives simultaneously left the Nigerian subsidiary of auto marketplace Cars45 for a newly founded competitor AutoChek, September last year. The executives include co-founder Mohammed Iyamu, the company’s CFO, Olajide Adamolekun, and VP Commercial, Mayokun Fadeyibi.

Surprisingly, AutoChek was also founded by the Etop Ikpe, Cars45’s previous chief executive, just 2 months before the massive exodus which raised huge suspicions about disagreements between Etop and investors. 

Its new CEO Soumobroto Ganguly recently made comments about the situation. He explains in a local media interview that after OLX Autos acquired the business, the executives exited because of disagreement with the company’s new direction.

“Since our parent company became OLX Autos, the nature of the company became a startup, small entrepreneur company and people have their views about working in such companies. 

“So when that changed, a lot of people left the company… and we still have over three hundred people interested in working with us.” Ganguly said.  

He added that it’s fine for a new competitor to enter the market to get more customers buying online.

“I think we need companies that are similar to Cars45. We need just 12 of them to adjust the size of the market. For us to do it alone has been a burden and we’re trying to change the choosing behaviour, purchasing behaviour all on our own,” he said.  

Cars45 was founded in 2016 and received a $5 million investment from FCG in 2017. OLX Autos became FCG’s largest shareholder after a $400 million investment announcement in November 2019.


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