CIO East Africa
India's Bharti has announced sweeping changes to its global management structure - key among these being the appointment of a new Airtel Africa CEO, Mr Christian de Faria.
According to the announcement, Mr Faria is the new Airtel Africa CEO and MD with overall responsibility of the firm's operations in 17 African markets - including Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Rwanda, Niger, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Seychelles and Nigeria.
Mr Faria previously served in various key positions at MTN South Africa culminating in his appointment as chief commercial officer between June 2011 and January 2013 before moving to Airtel Africa.
Mr Manoj Kohli - who was formerly Bharti International MD and CEO - will now take over as MD of Bharti Enterprises to lead the oversight of the group's non-telecom businesses in retail, insurance, food and agricultural services as well as realty.
In his new role, Mr Kohli will also be responsible for business development, corporate and shareholder relations on a group wide basis. He will also serve on various Bharti boards including Airtel and be the chairman of Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, that owns Airtel's African operations.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said in a media release: "The new structure reflects the next phase of Bharti's growth journey, which will be led by best-in-class professionals in various segments. Bharti has always championed the empowerment of its people and set high standards of corporate governance. This is another step towards transforming the group from entrepreneur-led professional-backed to a professional-led entrepreneur-backed one. I wish my very best to the chosen leaders in their respective new roles."
Bharti also announced that Airtel's Bangladesh and Sri Lanka operations are being brought back under South Asia operations with Gopal Vittal - currently joint MD and CEO (India) - becoming the MD and CEO of the India and South Asia unit.
Akhil Gupta has also been appointed chairman of Bharti Infratel and vice chairman of Bharti Enterprises, and will serve on other Bharti boards while DS Rawat, CEO Bharti Infratel has been appointed as MD and CEO of Bharti Infratel. Bharti Infratel is a major telecom tower infrastructure provider in India.