New Delhi: Gopal Vittal will take over as chief executive officer (CEO) of Bharti Airtel Ltd’s India and South Asia business from Sanjay Kapoor, whose resignation was announced on Tuesday.
Vittal was heading special projects for the Bharti group. Kapoor, who has been with Bharti for 15 years, will continue as CEO until the end of February.
Kapoor “has decided to pursue his future aspirations outside of Bharti,” the company said. Having joined Bharti Cellular Ltd as chief operating officer in 1998, Kapoor led the telco’s entry into allied communications businesses such as cable TV and high-speed wired and wireless broadband Internet services.
He’s credited with successfully positioning the telco as a youth brand with a focus on data and less reliance on voice. He will continue to be on the boards of Indus Towers Ltd and Bharti Global Ltd.
After Vittal takes over, the South Asian markets of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be transferred to the company’s international division headed by Manoj Kohli. This division includes the Africa operations.
“However, various business leaders and functions from Airtel India would continue to support South Asia operations in this revised arrangement,” the company said.
Vittal will report to Sunil Mittal, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel.
Prior to rejoining Bharti last year, Vittal worked with Hindustan Unilever Ltd as head of its $3.5 billion home and personal care division.
Bharti Airtel closed Tuesday at Rs.342.70, up 4%, on BSE Ltd. The benchmark Sensex rose 0.38% to 19,981.68 points.