With India’s spectrum auctions just around the corner, there is a change at the top at Vodafone India. The company’s COO Sunil Sood will take over from Marten Pieters as CEO and Managing Director of the company, with effect from 1 April 2015. Pieters will continue to remain on the Board of Vodafone India in a non-executive capacity. Sunil Sood’s successor as Chief Operating Officer has not yet been announced.
Sood had joined the company when it was still, Hutch, in 2000, and has held roles in circles such as Gujarat, Kolkata and Chennai. He had previously worked for Pepsi. Sood will be responsible for day-to-day operations and P&L management together with new business development initiatives including the launch and expansion of mobile commerce activities.
Pieters steps down after being appointed to this position in February 2009, following a career that included Board-level roles with KPN, Celtel and Millicom. He remains, as Vodafone India points out, the longest serving CEO of an Indian telecom company. Vodafone India, during his tenure, doubled revenues, added more than 100 million connections, and launched data services used by more than 57 million customers.
The press release
Marten Pieters to step down as Vodafone India CEO; Sunil Sood appointed as successor
Mumbai, 22 January 2015: The Board of Vodafone India today announced that Marten Pieters will be standing down as Managing Director and Chief Executive of Vodafone India with effect from 1 April 2015 and will be succeeded by the Vodafone India Chief Operating Officer, Sunil Sood. After that date, Mr Pieters will continue to remain on the Board of Vodafone India in a non-executive capacity.
Marten Pieters was appointed as Vodafone India Managing Director and Chief Executive in February 2009 after an international telecommunications career which included Board-level roles with KPN, Celtel and Millicom. Under his leadership, Vodafone India doubled revenues, added more than 100 million customers, increased market share and launched data services used by more than 57 million customers. The longest-serving Chief Executive of an Indian telecommunications company, he has led Vodafone India’s participation in all spectrum auctions since 2009. Mr. Pieters was appointed as the Chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in 2014.
Marten Pieters will be succeeded as Vodafone India Managing Director and Chief Executive by Sunil Sood. Mr Sood is currently the Vodafone India Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for day-to-day operations and P&L management together with new business development initiatives including the launch and expansion of mobile commerce activities. Mr Sood joined Vodafone India’s predecessor business, Hutch, in 2000 and has held roles leading the company’s operations in Gujarat, Kolkata and Chennai. He had previously worked for Pepsi in a range of Indian and international leadership roles. Mr Sood graduated with a B Tech from IIT (Delhi) and PGDM from IIM (Kolkata) and is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
The Chairman of the Board of Vodafone India, Analjit Singh, said: “Marten’s term as Chief Executive has been marked by outstanding business performance and exemplary leadership in a highly complex sector and operating environment. He is to be commended for his many achievements and hands on to his highly experienced and respected successor the stewardship of a substantial enterprise serving the needs of 174 million customers. Sunil has extensive operating experience and knows Vodafone India from within. He is therefore a great choice to grow and expand the business and I look forward to a successful transition.”
Vodafone Group Chief Executive for the Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific region, Serpil Timuray, said: “Marten has successfully led Vodafone India through a period of rapid evolution, establishing the business at the forefront of Vodafone Group’s international portfolio while building strong organisational capabilities for the future. He has made an immense contribution to Vodafone over the last six years. The business will remain in good hands with Sunil who has also been integral to the growth of the company and the development of its capabilities, helping to drive consistent results through both good and challenging years.”
Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: “Marten has been a fantastic leader in India and a wise and trusted contributor across the Group as a whole. He will stand down from his role as Chief Executive with warm thanks from everyone in Vodafone. I look forward to working with Sunil to build on the successes of a business widely admired in India and internationally.”
Vodafone India Managing Director and Chief Executive Marten Pieters said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead Vodafone India and I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their passion and commitment in support of our goals over the last six years. I am delighted to hand over to Sunil; we have worked closely together throughout my time with Vodafone and I could not wish for a better successor.”
Sunil Sood’s successor as Chief Operating Officer will be announced in due course.
Update: Typo in the headline corrected