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Big Moves In Telecom: Syed Safawi Leaves RCom; Atul Bindal Quits Airtel

Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group owned Reliance Communications (R-Com) has decided not to renew the contract of its Wireless Business Unit Head, Syed Safawi, reports Dow Jones Newswire. The company said that Safawi’s contract had come to an end in the normal course, however, media reports claim that Safawi did not want to renew his contract due to personal and professional reasons and had informed the company about his intent. Shamik Das, R-Com’s present COO and Joint President, will now oversee all geographical units of the company.

The company, in a move, which it says, will enable a “leaner and flatter” organization and strengthen sales, distribution and customer service, has also merged its three geographical units. All unit heads will now report directly to Das. R-Com said that the primary objective behind the reorganization was to enhance market competitiveness, execution and improve productivity and quality of service in the field.


Atul Bindal, former President of Airtel’s Mobile Services Unit, has also quit, according to The Economic Times. He will now head the Asia and Africa operations of Khosla Ventures, the $3 billion Fund promoted by venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla. In July 2011, after Bharti Airtel announced a new organizational structure, splitting the company into B2C and B2B business units, Atul Bindal was moved to an unspecified role within the company. Read our interview with Bindal at the time of Airtel’s 3G launch – part 1, part 2.

(Nikhil adds: this move is not surprising; there were rumors that the Airtel board wasn’t particularly happy with its iffy 3G rollout, which Bindal was spearheading)

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