Airtel Announces Senior Level Organizational Changes, New Organization Design For Africa Operations

By Adebayo Dawodu

New organization design aimed at enhanced empowerment at the operating level as well as speed to market, 15 Opcos to be divided into eight clusters.

· Christian Defaria elevated to the position of Executive Chairman, Airtel Africa

· Raghunath Mandava appointed as COO, Airtel Africa

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced top level changes for its Africa operations. To further enhance the level of empowerment and enable faster decision making as well as speed to market, the Company also unveiled a new cluster based organization design.

Christian de Faria, MD & CEO, Airtel Africa, has been elevated to the position of Executive Chairman, Airtel Africa. In his new role, he will continue to support the vision of Airtel Africa and lead all matters relating to legal, regulatory affairs, shareholders as well as Mergers & Acquisitions.

Raghunath Mandava, who is currently Director – Customer Experience, India & South Asia, will take over as Chief Operating Officer, Airtel Africa. Raghu will relocate to Nairobi and will be fully responsible for the commercial operations.

Raghu joined Airtel in 2003 and has served as Director – Operations (India); Chief Marketing Officer (India); CEO – Rajasthan Circle (India) and COO – Tamil Nadu Circle (India). Prior to joining Airtel, Raghu worked in Unilever in several sales and marketing roles. He is a B.Tech in Electronics from IIT, Kharagpur (1988 batch) and an MBA from IIM- Bangalore (1990 batch).

Commenting on the organizational changes, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said, “Christian has done an excellent job by streamlining the operations, strengthening the leadership teams across Africa while enhancing the image of Airtel brand across Africa. We believe we have a strong platform to accelerate our journey towards profitability and market leadership and the new cluster based organization design will provide an enabling environment to the teams. The appointment of Raghu will help leverage the platform and sharpen our market focus and strengthen the innovation pipeline. We remain fully committed to Africa and will continue to invest in the growth of our operations. I wish Christian, Raghu and the operating teams the very best for their new roles.”

As per the new cluster based organization design, the 15 African Opcos will now be classified into eight clusters with all cluster heads reporting to Raghu.

Cluster 1: Nigeria and Ghana will now form one cluster under the leadership of Segun Ogunsanya. He will continue to be the MD for Nigeria, while Lucy Quist, MD for Ghana will report into him.

Cluster 2: Wim Vanhelleputte will take responsibility for DRC and Congo Brazzaville. In addition to being MD for DRC, Wim will also have Gerard Lokossou – MD Congo Brazzaville reporting into him.

Cluster 3: Alain Kahasha will oversee both Gabon and Madagascar. Heiko Schlittke, MD for Gabon and Maixent Bekangba, MD – Madagascar will both report into him.

Cluster 4: Tom Gutjahr will continue as MD Uganda and also have the MD for Seychelles, Amadou Mahamat Dina, reporting into him.

Cluster 5: Sunil Colaso – MD Tanzania will also have Michael Adjei – MD for Rwanda reporting into him.

Cluster 6: Peter Correia now takes charge of both Zambia and Malawi. While Peter continues as the MD for Zambia, Charles Kamoto – MD Malawi will also report into him.

Cluster 7: Anwar Soussa will continue as MD for Chad. Raymond Mendy, MD for Niger, will report into Anwar.

Cluster 8: Kenya OpCo will continue to be led by Adil Elyoussefi as MD.