Airtel Africa in management changes, Kenya CEO not affected 

Bharti Airtel has today announced top level changes for its Africa operations, all meant to further enhance the level of empowerment and enable faster decision making as well as speed to market. The group has also unveiled a new cluster based organization design.

As part of the changes, Christian de Faria, MD & CEO, Airtel Africa, is now the Executive Chairman, Airtel Africa. In his new role, he will continue to support the vision of Airtel Africa and lead all matters relating to legal, regulatory affairs, shareholders as well as Mergers & Acquisitions.

Raghunath Mandava, who is currently Director – Customer Experience, India & South Asia, will take over as Chief Operating Officer (COO), Airtel Africa. Raghu will relocate to Nairobi and will be fully responsible for the commercial operations.

Raghu joined Airtel in 2003 and has served as Director – Operations (India); Chief Marketing Officer (India); CEO – Rajasthan Circle (India) and COO – Tamil Nadu Circle (India). Prior to joining Airtel, Raghu worked in Unilever in several sales and marketing roles. He is a B.Tech in Electronics from IIT, Kharagpur (1988 batch) and an MBA from IIM- Bangalore (1990 batch).

Commenting on the organizational changes, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said, “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. The appointment of Raghu will help leverage the platform and sharpen our market focus and strengthen the innovation pipeline. 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.”

As per the new cluster-based organization design, the 15 African OpCos (Operations per Country) will now be classified into eight clusters, with all cluster heads reporting to Raghu.

Cluster 1

Nigeria and Ghana will now form one cluster under the leadership of Segun Ogunsanya. He will continue to be the MD for Nigeria while Lucy Quist, MD for Ghana will report to him.

Cluster 2

Wim Vanhelleputte will take responsibility for DRC and Congo Brazzaville. In addition to being MD for DRC, Wim will also have Gerard Lokossou – MD Congo Brazzaville reporting to him.

Cluster 3

Alain Kahasha will oversee both Gabon and Madagascar. Heiko Schlittke, MD for Gabon and Maixent Bekangba, MD, Madagascar, will both report to him.

Cluster 4

Tom Gutjahr will continue as MD Uganda and also have the MD for Seychelles, Amadou Mahamat Dina, reporting to him.

Cluster 5

Sunil Colaso, MD, Airtel Tanzania will also have Michael Adjei, MD for Rwanda, reporting to him.

Cluster 6

Peter Correia now takes charge of both Zambia and Malawi. While Peter continues as the MD for Zambia, with Charles Kamoto, MD, Airtel Malawi, also reporting to him.

Cluster 7

Anwar Soussa will continue as MD for Chad. Raymond Mendy, MD for Niger, will report to Anwar.

Cluster 8

Kenya OpCo will continue to be led by Adil Elyoussefi as MD.


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  1. Tom Gutjhar resigns as Airtel Uganda MD, replaced by Anwar Soussa – aptantech

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