Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have announced Vodafone veteran Balesh Sharma as CEO of the proposed new telecom operator. Sharma is currently the chief operating officer at Vodafone India.
Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian unit and Idea Cellular, which are in the process of merging their operations to create the country’s biggest telecoms carrier, named Vodafone veteran Balesh Sharma as the new chief executive for the combined venture. Sharma is currently the chief operating officer at Vodafone India.
Akshaya Moondra, the current chief financial officer at Idea, will become the finance chief at the combined firm. Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Idea’s parent Aditya Birla conglomerate, will be the non-executive chairman of the merged telecoms company.
The merger – which is set to dislodge the numero uno player Bharti Airtel – was imminent as the incumbent operators have been bruised by aggressive tariffs from newcomer Reliance Jio, which triggered a price war in the industry.