Bharti Airtel restructures African operations

Bharti Airtel Ltd has restructured its Africa operations, dividing the 17 countries in the continent into four strategic business units (SBUs) and made key executive appointments to be made effective from 1 April.

The company, which is the fourth-largest telecom operator in the world, has appointed

V G Somasekhar as executive operations director of the SBU clustering Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles.

Previously, Somasekhar was managing director for Airtel Uganda since December 2010.

Christophe Soulet has been appointed executive operations director of the second SBU consisting of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

Soulet has worked with Millicom International Cellular as chief operating and executive officer, Millicom's GSM business unit Tigo Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as  CEO of its opeartions in Ghana & DRC, chief regional officer, Ghana, DRC & Chad  and as chief regional officer – Africa.

Airtel Africa chief executive officer Christian de Faria said, ''These two business leaders have distinguished themselves with their exceptional understanding of the African telecoms landscape. We will leverage their experience, leadership and understanding of the African market to accelerate our market leadership opportunities and develop team capabilities as we seek to take our brand to the next level.''

Segun Ogunsanya and Louis Lubala will continue to lead Nigeria and DRC, the other two business units.

Following Somasekhar's appointment, Arindam Chakrabarty who is currently  chief commercial officer for Airtel Uganda will be acting as the managing director until a new managing director is appointed.
Airtel had more than 63.7 million customers at the end of quarter ended 31 March 2013.