India based telecoms operator Bharti Airtel has appointed former MTN Group executive, Christian De Faria as CEO of its African operations.According to the Business Standard and multiple publications in India, De Faria will step into his new post from January 1, 2014.
He will however, join Airtel Africa on September 16, 2013, taking charge of Airtel’s Anglophone operations. Faria will be based in Nairobi and will report to Manoj Kohli, current MD & CEO (International), in-charge of Bharti Airtel’s operations in Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
De Faria joined MTN in June 2006, as VP for West and Central Africa. He then served as group chief commercial officer at MTN Group until his resignation in January 2013.
He is currently an independent advisor at Consult Com in the United Arab Emirates.
“As CEO [for] Airtel Africa, Faria will be based out of Nairobi and lead the growth agenda across markets and build key skills and capabilities within the organization,” a Bharti statement said.
“We have built a strong foundation for the next phase of growth of our Africa operations and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Airtel, said.
Bloomberg noted on Wednesday (28 August) that Bharti Airtel, which started operating in Africa in 2010, made a net loss of $106 million on the continent in the three months through June 2013, from a prior loss of $124 million in 2012.
Sales declined for the second consecutive quarter. Airtel is planning to reverse the trend by targeting a growing number of smartphone users in Africa to boost revenue per user and reduce dependence on traditional fixed-line services.
Bharti Airtel is India’s largest mobile operator with more than 269 million customers including 17 territories in Africa.