Airtel CIO Harmeen Mehta to join BT to head Digital

BT announced the appointment of Harmeen Mehta, former CIO of Bharti Airtel, as chief digital and innovation officer to lead a new technology unit called Digital.
Airtel CIO Harmeen Mehta
The new unit will focus on the development and delivery of innovative products, platforms and services in key areas such as healthcare and data. Harmeen Mehta will be reporting directly to BT CEO Philip Jansen and as a member of the Executive Committee.

Harmeen Mehta will work with Philip Jansen, the Board, the chief technology officer and BT’s customer facing units to drive the company’s digital transformation. The new Digital unit will include accountability for IT, digital innovation, BT-wide business transformation and data and product strategy, BT said.

Harmeen Mehta spent the last seven years as Group CIO of Airtel, as well as leading their cloud and security businesses. Before Bharti Airtel, Harmeen held CIO positions at BBVA, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

BT said Howard Watson will become chief technology officer, leading the team accountable for network strategy, networks transformation and service platforms, as well as retaining accountability for cyber and information security.

BT also announced a non-executive Technology Advisory Board to provide insight, provocation and external perspective to the Executive Committee on emerging technologies, market and societal trends.

The TAB will consist of industry experts, meeting three times a year, to provide thought leadership on the development of propositions and identify opportunities in the portfolio for future consideration.

Members include Daniela Rus, Dame Wendy Hall, Steve King, Shweta Sharma, Mike Young, and John Stecher. Their expertise includes artificial intelligence, technology and digital transformation, product strategy, disruptive technologies, and innovation.

BT announced that Mike Sherman, chief strategy and transformation officer, will leave BT. Mike has played a major role over the last three years in resetting BT for the future and this change marks the next stage of driving this plan across BT.

Product strategy, business transformation, data and AI, currently in Strategy and Transformation, will form part of the new Digital unit.

“The creation of BT Digital will enable us to focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact, delivering digital platforms that bring together best-in-class services for our customers, and embracing new technologies such as AI and machine learning,” Philip Jansen said.