Reliance Communications’ (RCom) Chief Executive Officer Vinod Sawhny has stepped down from the post, citing personal reasons. The development comes at a time when RCom is working towards acquiring Sistema Shyam Teleservices and merging wireless operations with Aircel. The company informed stock exchanges on Saturday that William (Bill) Barney and Gurdeep Singh will now function as acting co-chief executives of the company with immediate effect.
“The Company has accepted request of V inod Sawhny to step down as Chief Executive Officer of the Company with effect from September 30, 2016 to enable him and his family to relocate to New Delhi for personal reasons,” the telco informed BSE in a statement.
Sawhny joined RCom as a CEO in 2014. Prior to joining RCom, Sawhny worked for Bharti Group for more than 10 years in various roles.
The Anil Ambani-led telco had earlier said that it received a nod from the Rajasthan High Court to acquire Russian conglomerate Sistema’s Indian telecom unit, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL), that operates under the MTS brand.
The telecom operator also said that that the Scheme is pending for sanction before Bombay High Court on the petition filed by the Company. RCom is currently merging its Indian wireless business with Aircel to form a new company, which would have the second-largest spectrum holding of 448 MHz across the 850, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands, across all 22 circles, and spectrum will be valid till 2033-35.
The merged entity’s subscribers will have access to nationwide 4G services on the sub-1 GHz band, under spectrum sharing and roaming arrangements with Reliance Jio Infocomm. It will also have an asset base of over Rs 65,000 crore and net worth of Rs 35,000 crore, besides deriving benefits of scale driving significant revenue growth, and capex and opex synergies with an NPV of around Rs 20,000 crore.
The merger will reduce RCom’s debt by Rs 20,000 crore, which is over 40% of its total debt, and also lower Aircel‘s debt by Rs 4,000 crore, when it closes next year.