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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Bharti Airtel sees exodus at the top

Manoj Gairola, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 29, 2013
First Published: 23:16 IST(29/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:18 IST(29/4/2013)

Executives are quitting as a top-level management rejig takes place at Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom service provider both in terms of subscriber base and revenue. However, the company says all is well and this will not have any impact on the firm.

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At least five top executives, departmental heads responsible for their verticles, have left Airtel in the last three months.

This is for the first time that company has seen such large scale changes at the top level.

The process started with the announcement of Airtel’s CEO (India and South Asia) Sanjay Kapoor’s resignation in January.

Others – Drew Kelton, president (B2B); Vineet Taneja, director (South and Sri Lanka); Rajeev Rajagopal, director (new services); Bharat Bambawale, director (brand) - have either left or are in the process of leaving the company.

The company shrugs off the exodus. “Some people have decided to pursue their aspirations outside the company and we respect their decision. We have a robust leadership pipeline and continue to offer our people meaningful roles and growth opportunities,” said a Bharti spokesperson.

Sources said that Bambawale has moved to pursue an entrepreneurial venture, while Kelton left as his contract ended this year. Taneja has joined as the country head for Samsung India’s mobile and digital imaging business.

Earlier, Airtel had elevated Gopal Vittal as the CEO of its India operations following resignation of Sanjay Kapoor, who headed the company during the most difficult period when the telecom sector registered hyper competition in the market with about 12 placers vying for consumers in a state.

Later, the total telecom subscriber base started falling. Airtel, however, maintained its leadership position in the market.

“Bharti has always attracted top talent and provided them with excellent growth opportunities. We are equipping ourselves to be relevant in the future and have accordingly made changes to our organisation structure. The responsibilities of some people have been enhanced, while some have been assigned fresh roles,” the company spokesperson said.


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