Bharti Airtel’s CEO Manoj Kohli sold Rs 7 crore worth of shares in the company on Thursday, but that sale led to a fall of over Rs 7,000 crore in the company’s market capitalisation on Thursday as Bharti shares fell 6.4 per cent.
Kohli’s selling of shares and Bharti Airtel elevating Sanjay Kapoor as deputy CEO generated speculations about Kohli being on his way out. Kohli, however, strongly denied it.
“I have sold my current holding in Bharti Airtel Ltd for personal reasons,” he said in a note to Bombay Stock Exchange. “I continue to hold 1,80,000 options in the company, some of which have already vested and the balance will vest from time to time as per the vesting schedule. I am happy to confirm that I continue as CEO and joint managing director of the company.”
Kapoor was earlier the president of mobile services. He has been made deputy CEO and has been given additional charge of business-to-consumer services such as fixed line, broadband and internet protocol TV (grouped under tele-media) as well as direct-to-home TV services. Atul Bindal has been made president of mobile services; he earlier headed telemedia.
K. Srinivas, an executive director heading operations in east India and Sri Lanka is now joint president of telemedia. Both of them will report to Kapoor. Kohli said that he would now focus more on day-to-day operations and on future transformation, outsourcing, regulation and leadership development.