Vodafone Idea on Monday said Balesh Sharma has stepped down from the position of chief executive officer (CEO) citing personal reasons. Ravinder Takkar, currently Vodafone Group's representative in India, will be appointed as the new MD and CEO with immediate effect, the telecom major said in a statement.
"The Board of Vodafone Idea Limited today announced that it has accepted Balesh Sharma's request for personal reasons to step down as CEO of Vodafone Idea," the company said in a press release. Sharma will be taking up a new role with Vodafone Group, which will be announced in due course.
Sharma has been the CEO of Vodafone Idea since the completion of the merger. He was Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India prior to that. "Balesh has driven the strategy of the combined business since its formation and he has also spearheaded the largest-ever equity raise in India," Vodafone Idea said.
Ravinder Takkar is currently a board member of Vodafone Idea and Indus Towers, where he is responsible for all Vodafone Group interests in India. He assumed the position in 2017. Prior to his current role, Ravinder was the CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years and CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets in London.
"He has been with Vodafone Group since 1994 and brings a wealth of experience in telecom industry having worked in several leadership positions across Vodafone's operating companies over the last 25 years," the company said.
Ravinder has been involved in the Indian telecom industry since 2007 when Vodafone Group entered the Indian market. He has held a number of senior roles in Strategy and Business Development and he was CEO of the Enterprise business.
Commenting on the development, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Limited, said, "I would like to thank Balesh for his leadership and the successful integration of the two businesses. Under Balesh's stewardship, Vodafone Idea has realised a significant proportion of the synergies in a much shorter timescale than originally estimated. I wish him every success in his next role.
"I am pleased to welcome Ravinder Takkar as our new MD & CEO. Ravinder is well versed with the Vodafone Idea business context and I am confident that he will successfully steer the company through the next phase of development and help unlock its full potential," he added.
Ahead of the announcement, shares of Vodafone Idea closed trade at Rs 5.99 apiece, down 7.13 per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar