After Network18 CEO B Saikumar’s departure, group COO Ajay Chacko has quit, reports Mint. Chacko had been with the group for 10 years, and was appointed COO in April last year.

Heads are rolling at Network18, and the rumor mill is buzzing, with many both within and outside the group suggesting that this is only the beginning of change: “Ajay was Sai’s man, and Sai was Raghav’s man” one senior Network18 employee told MediaNama on condition of anonymity, suggesting that there might be bigger changes to follow, including a reconstitution of the company’s board.

There is speculation that Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor in Chief of CNN-IBN is on his way out too, as Mint has reported. Speculation is also rife about the change is being made by Reliance Industries, which controls the Network18 group through an in investment in an independent trust. Do read the Competition Commission report on the acquisition, dated 28th May 2012 (pdf).

Remember that there was a significant clear-out of staff at Network18 last year, with around 30 percent of its employees asked to leave. Probably not connected, but one source couldn’t help but notice that Saikumar and Chacko have left almost a year to the date that the Forbes founding editorial team was unceremoniously asked to leave.