Bharti Airtel's Chief Technology Officer Jagbir Singh quits

Written by Jayati Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 18 2014, 14:45pm hrs
BhartiLast month, Bharti Airtel saw five senior executives, including its legal and regulatory head resigning. PTI
Joining a list of senior-level exists from Bharti Airtel in the last one year, since Gopal Vittal took over as chief executive, the company's Chief Technology Officer Jagbir Singh has resigned from his post, sources confirmed. Abhay Savargaonkar, who is currently the chief of network operations, will take over as the new chief technology officer following Singh's exit, sources added.

While Airtel neither confirmed nor denied the development, people in the know of the matter said that Singh is likely to move to another telecom operator in a new position.

Last month, Airtel saw five senior executives, including its legal and regulatory head Jyoti Pawar leaving the company. Apart from Pawar, Sukesh Jain, chief marketing officer at Airtel's enterprise business; Rohit Gothi, head of Airtel Delhi; Tamil Nadu and Kerala hub head Vikas Singh and Mohit Parasher, head of Bharti Airtel's retail outlets, have also put in their papers.

Analysts read these developments as a naural reaction to a new top management with CEO Vittal completing one year in the organisation. Airtel under Vittal is trying to push data revenues to offset the tapering growth in voice revenues --- measures which have yielded results in the past two quarters as the company reported its first quarterly rise in profits in four years in the October-December period.

The exits are also being attributed to organisational restructuring which include cost cutting as well as reduction in the capex spend by the company.

Under a new top level management rejig, which came into force from the first of this month, Vittal will be heading the company's operations in India and South Asia. Manoj Kohli has been elevated to the position of managing director of Bharti Enterprises to lead the oversight of all non-telecom businesses of the group, including retail, insurance, food, realty and others. As part of the restructuring, Akhil Gupta will be chairman of Bharti Infratel and vice chairman of Bharti Enterprises while serving on other Bharti boards.

Jagbir Singh, an Airtel veteran with a stint of more than 10 years in the company, held the post of director network services, and oversaw the networks and introduction of newer technology across Airtel's Indian and South Asian operations. He was also the member of the Airtel Management Board, the company's highest decision-making unit.

His successor, Abhay has also been at Airtel for over 10 years and has held various senior leadership roles covering the breadth of almost all network verticals including leading the 3G planning and deployment, quality, network planning and being the CTO of Mobile business when it was a stand alone business.