Airtel Africa restructures top telecom operations team

Global telecom service provider Bharti Airtel has restructured its operations in Africa.

The main aim of the new organisational structure is to pursue its growth agenda. At presence, Airtel – promoted by billionaire Sunil Mittal — has presence in 17 African countries. It had over 63.7 million customers at the end of quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Recently, Manoj Kohli stepped down as the managing director of Airtel Africa in order to focus on Bharti Enterprise’s non-telecom business.

Airtel today said Airtel Africa’s operations will be clustered into four Strategic Business Units (SBUs) whose leaders will report into the MD & CEO – Africa with effect from 1 April 2014.

As per the new structure, new cluster heads — VG Somasekhar and Christophe Soulet — will report to Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria. Meanwhile, Segun Ogunsanya and Louis Lubala will continue to lead Nigeria and DRC, the other two business units.

VG Somasekhar is the executive operations director of the SBU clustering Zambia, Congo B, Malawi, Burkina, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles. Somasekhar has been managing director for Airtel Uganda since December 2010. He has delivered consistent business growth to make Uganda one of Airtel’s most profitable businesses in Africa.

Airtel Africa top team

Christophe Soulet is the executive operations director of the second SBU consisting of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

Earlier, Soulet has worked with Millicom as chief operating & executive officer – Tigo DRC, as chief executive officer – Ghana & DRC, chief regional officer – Ghana, DRC & Chad and as chief regional officer – Africa. At Millicom, Christophe executed Africa strategy that resulted in high double-digit revenue growth.

Following Somasekhar appointment, Arindam Chakrabarty who is currently  chief commercial officer for Airtel Uganda will be acting as the managing director until a new managing director is appointed.

Airtel is following a lean structure in Africa. Earlier, several senior executives resigned from Airtel India when Gopal Vittal took over as the India CEO.

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