Bharti Airtel has made serious shuffles in the top-level management of its Africa operations as well as unveiled a new cluster-based organization design, as a means to implement faster decision in the challenging African telecom market. The company has promoted Christian Defaria, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa to the position of Executive Chairman, and has appointed Raghunath Mandava as Chief Operating Officer of the African business. Mr. Defaria will be in-charge of all matters relating to legal, regulatory affairs, shareholders as well as mergers & acquisitions.
In a statement released to the press, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel appreciated Mr. Defaria’s efforts in streamlining the operations across Africa. “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,” he said.
Mr. Mandava is currently the Director – Customer Experience, India & South Asia. He will be soon relocated to Nairobi to undertake his new responsibility. “Mandava will help leverage the platform and sharpen our market focus and strengthen the innovation pipeline,” Mittal said.
“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.
The new cluster-based organization design indicates that the earlier 15 African operating companies will be now classified into eight clusters. All the clusters would report to Mandava.
Under the new cluster design, Nigeria and Ghana will form one cluster. It will run under the leadership of Segun Ogunsanya, who will be the MD for Nigeria while Lucy Quist, MD for Ghana will report into him.
Further, Wim Vanhelleputte, MD of DRC will take responsibility for DRC and Congo Brazzaville. Gerard Lokossou, MD Congo Brazzaville will report to him. Alain Kahasha will oversee both Gabon and Madagascar. Heiko Schlittke, MD, Gabon and Maixent Bekangba, MD, Madagascar will both report into Kahasha.
Tom Gutjahr will continue as MD, Uganda and will have the MD for Seychelles, Amadou Mahamat Dina, reporting into him. Sunil Colaso, MD, Tanzania will have Michael Adjei, MD, Rwanda reporting into him.
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 to him. Moreover, Anwar Soussa will continue as MD for Chad. Raymond Mendy, MD for Niger, will report to Anwar. The company’s Kenya OpCo will continue to be led by Adil Elyoussefi as MD.