Airtel makes top level changes in Africa, introduces new organization design

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Bharti Airtel has made top level changes for its Africa operations to enable faster decision making as well as speed to market. It has elevated Christian Defaria, MD & CEO, Airtel Africa to the position of Executive Chairman, and has appointed Raghunath Mandava as Chief Operating Officer of the African business. The telco has created a new organizational structure which is aimed at enhanced empowerment at the operating level as well as speed to market. As part of the restructuring, 15 Opcos to be divided into eight clusters, the company said.


As the Executive Chairman, Defaria will continue to support the vision of Airtel Africa and lead all matters relating to legal, regulatory affairs, shareholders as well as Mergers & Acquisitions, the company said, adding that Mandava, who is currently Director – Customer Experience, India & South Asia, will relocate to Nairobi to take over as Chief Operating Officer, Airtel Africa. Mandava will be fully responsible for the commercial operations.

“Christian has done an excellent job by streamlining the operations, strengthening the leadership teams across Africa while enhancing the image of Airtel brand across Africa. We believe we have a strong platform to accelerate our journey towards profitability and market leadership and the new cluster based organization design will provide an enabling environment to the teams,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

“We remain fully committed to Africa and will continue to invest in the growth of our operations. I wish Christian, Raghu and the operating teams the very best for their new roles,” he added.

As per the new cluster based organization design, the 15 African Opcos will now be classified into eight clusters with all cluster heads reporting to Mandava.

Nigeria and Ghana will now form one cluster under the leadership of Segun Ogunsanya, who will continue to be the MD for Nigeria while Lucy Quist, MD for Ghana will report into him. In addition, Wim Vanhelleputte will spearhead DRC and Congo Brazzaville, while Alain Kahasha will oversee both Gabon and Madagascar. Heiko Schlittke, MD for Gabon and Maixent Bekangba, MD – Madagascar will both report into him.

Tom Gutjahr will continue as MD Uganda and also have the MD for Seychelles, Amadou Mahamat Dina, reporting into him. Sunil Colaso – MD Tanzania will also have Michael Adjei – MD for Rwanda reporting into him, Airtel said in a statement.
Kenya OpCo will continue to be led by Adil Elyoussefi as MD, the company said.

Bharti Airtel said that Peter Correia is taking charge of both Zambia and Malawi. While Peter continues as the MD for Zambia, Charles Kamoto – MD Malawi will also report into him. Moreover, Anwar Soussa will continue as MD for Chad. Raymond Mendy, MD for Niger, will report into Anwar.

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