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Update: Manoj Kohli steps down from Bharti Airtel board

Manoj Kohli

Update: Looks like people were wondering if Manoj Kohli has left the Bharti Group. The exit, it appears, is only from Airtel. In a clarification, Airtel has said that: “Manoj continues to serve as the Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises. As the Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises, Manoj leads the oversight of all non-telecom businesses of the group – Retail, Insurance, Food & Agri, Realty and others, and works closely with the respective MD / CEOs. Manoj is also responsible for Business Development and Corporate Affairs on a group wide basis.”

On Feb 5th: Manoj Kohli has resigned from the board and stepped down as the non-executive director of Bharti Airtel , the company informed the BSE. Other changes included the appointment of Shishir Priyadarshi as an independent director.

Kolhi had previously resigned as the managing director and CEO (International) of Bharti Airtel, effective 1st April 2014. He was then appointed as the Chairman of Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV which owns telecom operations in Africa. He had also been appointed as the Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises effective April 1, 2014, as indicated by a The Hindu Business Line report. In this role, he was overlooking all the non-telecom businesses of the Bharti Group which includes retail, food and agriculture, real estate and insurance.

Kohli had been appointed Bharti Airtel’s MD in Jan 2013. Later the year, he had relocated to India after a difficult stint in Africa, where the company had failed to meet the ambitious goals that Kohli had set for the end of FY13. This was due to underestimating the complexity of operating in Africa, and the state of Zain’s network and processes in the continent. Prior to Bharti Airtel, Kohli led Escotel for over 5 years as executive director and CEO.

Post Kohli, Airtel had promoted the then CEO and Joint MD Gopal Vittal as the Managing Director and CEO (India & South Asia), wherein he will have the added responsibility of overlooking Airtel’s Bangladesh and Sri Lanka operations. Vittal was previously appointed as Airtel’s India CEO in January 2013, after the former CEO Sanjay Kapoor had quit following a 15 years stint with the company.

In December 2013, Bharti Airtel’s Senior Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer Felix Mohan had quit to launch his own venture while Bharti Enterprises Group CIO Jay Menon had also exited the company.

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