Airtel appoints Faria as new CEO of Africa; Kohli to return

The appointment will be effective January 1, 2014.

Updated: Aug 28, 2013, 21:46 PM IST

New Delhi: In a senior level rejig, Bharti Airtel on Wednesday appointed Christian de Faria as the new CEO for African operations while Manoj Kohli, MD and CEO (International) will relocate to India.

The appointment will be effective January 1, 2014.

Kohli, who is in-charge of Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka operations, is based in Airtel’s Africa headquarters in Nairobi.

Faria will join Airtel Africa on September 16, 2013 and report to Kohli. He will immediately take charge of Anglophone operations and commence an orientation encompassing Airtel Africa functions, Francophone and Nigeria regions, the company said in a statement.

"Manoj has successfully embedded our business model and the Airtel brand in Africa, and will now provide governance oversight to the international operations and be involved with the group strategic matters," Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Kohli will look into the strategic issues such as in- market consolidation, global partnerships and regulatory aspects along with leading the company's international operations.

"While continuing to lead Airtel?s international operations...Manoj would also lead strategic issues such as in-market consolidation via M&A, key matters relating to towerco, global partnerships, global sourcing from key partners and strategic regulatory aspects," Airtel said.

Kohli will continue his position on the boards of Bharti Airtel International Netherlands BV and Airtel Networks Ltd, Nigeria.

Faria was associated with MTN for the last seven years, where he held senior leadership positions including Executive Vice President and Group Commercial Officer.

While announcing the company's results recently, Kohli said that making African operations profitable will take more time due to slowdown in the economy.

"The market has seen a lower growth than we expected and that?s why those targets could not be achieved but we are determined and we will achieve them but I really can't share the timeframe now," Kohli had said.

Initially, the company had said that it expected to touch USD 5 billion in revenues by May, 2013. As per the April-June quarter results this fiscal, African operations had a total revenue of USD 1.06 billion.

Airtel provides services in 17 African countries.