Vodafone announced on Thursday that Sunil Sood will take over as CEO and managing director of the UK giant’s India operations from April 1. Sood, who is currently Vodafone India’s chief operating officer, will take charge from Marten Pieters, who steered the company for six long, eventful years. Pieters will continue on the company’s board as a non-executive director.
Pieters, who took charge as India CEO and MD in February 2009 from Asim Ghosh, took the company to greater heights, making it the second-largest mobile operator in the country by revenue and subscriber base. During his tenure, the company doubled its revenue, added over 100 million customers, increased market share and launched data services, currently used by over 57 million. He led Vodafone’s participation at all spectrum auctions since 2009 and was appointed chairman of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in 2014.
Known to speak his mind, Pieters was frank enough to say a couple of months ago that regulatory flip-flops in the telecom sector made doing business difficult in the country.
“Marten has been a fantastic leader in India and a wise and trusted contributor across the group as a whole. I look forward to working with Sunil to build on the successes of a business widely admired in India and internationally,” UK- based Vodafone Group’s chief executive Vittorio Colao said in a statement.
Vodafone India’s chairman of the board, Analjit Singh, said Marten’s term as chief executive was marked by outstanding business performance and exemplary leadership in a highly complex sector and operating environment.
Sood, who graduated in engineering from IIT Delhi and did his management course from IIM Kolkata and Harvard Business School, has been responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and profit and loss management, together with new business development initiatives including the launch and expansion of mobile commerce activities. He joined Vodafone India’s predecessor business, Hutch, in 2000 and has held leading roles.