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Updated: OnMobile MD & CEO Mouli Raman resigns; More executives exit


(by Vikas SN and Nikhil Pahwa)

Update 2: OnMobile has appointed (pdf) Jacks Sterenfeld as the Vice President for Latin America. In this role, he will be heading the company’s operations in Latin America and will be responsible for all the sales, delivery and operations activities for the region. Before OnMobile, he worked for Telefonica for about 11 years in various roles.

Update: Onmobile has confirmed to us that David Fondots, VP and Head of North America operations has also left the company. At the time that Onmobile’s acquisition of Livewire was announced, the company has said that Fondots “will head up the combined entity operations…”, mentioning him as head of North and Latin America operations. Fondots left the company in March. MV Rajesh, VP, Media (heading the media business, we’re told), has tendered his resignation but he is still with the company. Sumit Sardana, Senior Director and Head Account Management for Europe also resigned from the company in February.

Earlier today: OnMobile co-founder Mouli Raman has stepped down as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of OnMobile Global, the company has said (pdf).

A new CEO will be announced “in due course” and Raman will continue as the CEO until the new person is on board to ensure a smooth transition. Raman’s resignation comes at a time when a lot is going on at Onmobile, it appears. It follows other key resignations at what, sources tell us, is largely a board-run company:

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– OnMobile CFO Rajesh Kunnath resigned in February. Kunnath left to pursue another opportunity, and as per his LinkedIn profile he has returned to Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd.
– Rentala Chandrashekhar, an Independent director on board at Onmobile, had also resigned last month.

We’ve written to Onmobile to confirm a few other key departures. Also worth noting are some major recent developments:

– Onmobile Global’s primary shareholder made an Open Offer of Rs 47.6 Crore For 10% of co, buying stake at Rs 40 per share. The tendering period ends tomorrow.
– The company is offloading its French arm, VoxMobili SA, to Synchronoss Technologies Inc for $26 million. Onmobile had acquired VoxMobili in 2007 for around $35.12 million. It’s important to note that Synchronoss had filed a lawsuit, alleging that Voxmobili and Onmobile USA LLC had infringed some of its patents. Synchronoss received $3 million as a part of a settlement from Onmobile. In a filing, where this is disclosed, Onmobile mentions that it “may have to pay to Synchronoss, an additional amount of USD 3,000,000, subject however to contingencies and conditions”.

Raman had taken over as the interim MD of OnMobile in July 2012, following the resignation of OnMobile CEO & MD Arvind Rao, one of his co-founders. He was appointed as the permanent managing director few months later and as the company CEO in February 2013. Prior to this role, he was as OnMobile’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer), albeit on hiatus towards the end of Rao’s tenure.

OnMobile mentions that during Raman’s tenure, the company expanded its global footprint, and secured ringback tone businesses in Africa, Asia and Latin America, a move that was seeded by Rao. It’s India business has been on the decline, and a key development during Raman’s tenure was the acquisition of Livewire for $17.8 million (plus liabilities), in a push to become the largest global player in the Ringback tone business.

Prior to OnMobile, Raman with Infosys Technologies as its Associate Vice President & Head of the Internet Products Group.

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Also read:

OnMobile CEO Mouli Raman: No Plans To Go Direct To Consumer; Piloting Brand Supported mRadio
#NAMA Video: Jonathan Bill & Mouli Raman On The Changing VAS Landscape
OnMobile Q3-FY14: India VAS Revenues Up 3.2%; Profit Down Due To MG Payment In Europe

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