Airtel Africa rejig brings back Kohli

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 29 2013, 13:55pm hrs
Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced senior level management changes for its Africa operations.

The companys international CEO and MD, Manoj Kohli, while continuing to lead Airtels international operations and providing governance oversight to Airtel Africa, Airtel Bangladesh and Airtel Sri Lanka, would relocate to India with effect from January 1, 2014.

Christian de Faria, who will be joining Airtel Africa starting September 16 this year, will assume overall responsibility as CEO-Airtel Africa from January 1, 2014. He will, however, report to Kohli.

Kohli, who is currently based at Airtels Africa headquarters in Nairobi, will also lead strategic issues such as in-market consolidation via M&A, key matters relating to Towerco (a separate tower company formed in Africa), global partnerships, global sourcing from key partners and strategic regulatory aspects.

In addition, he will be responsible for the business development/M&A function for the telecom business and be involved with group strategic matters.

Manoj will continue his position on the boards of Bharti Airtel International Netherlands and Airtel Networks, Nigeria, Airtel said in a statement.

We have built a strong foundation for the next phase of growth of our Africa operations and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Manoj has successfully embedded our business model and the Airtel brand in Africa, and will now provide governance oversight to the international operations and be involved with strategic matters, said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel said Kohli has successfully led the companys foray into Africa over the past three years. He also successfully completed the integration and transformation of Airtels operations in Africa and more recently integrated the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka businesses with international operations.

Kohli has led the implementation of business model changes and established key stakeholder and government relationships in Africa.

Christian will immediately take charge of Anglophone operations and commence a comprehensive orientation encompassing Airtel Africa HQ functions, Francophone and Nigeria Regions, the statement said.

Christian brings with him over 30 years of rich industry experience across multiple geographies, diverse sectors and organisations such as MTN, Telekom Malaysia, Discvision, Deutsche Telecom and Grundig, the company added.

As CEO, Airtel Africa, Christian will be fully empowered to manage its P&L. He will lead the growth agenda across markets and build key skills and capabilities within the organisation. He will also be co-opted on the board of Bharti Airtel International Netherlands and on the boards of major Opcos in Africa.