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Kumar Mangalam Birla steps down as director, chairman of Vodafone Idea

Kumar Mangalam Birla steps down as director, chairman of Vodafone Idea

Himanshu Kapania, currently a non-executive director, will replace Birla as the non-executive chairman, while Sushil Agarwal has been appointed as additional director.

Vodafone Idea said its board has accepted the request of Birla to step down as non-executive director and non-executive chairman of the board. Vodafone Idea said its board has accepted the request of Birla to step down as non-executive director and non-executive chairman of the board.

Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down from the position of non-executive director and non-executive chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd.

In an exchange filing, the telecom company said its board has accepted the request of Birla to step down as non-executive director and non-executive chairman with effect from close of business hours on August 4, 2021.

Himanshu Kapania, currently a non-executive director, of the company will replace Birla as the non-executive chairman.

"Kapania, a nominee of the Aditya Birla Group, is a telecom industry veteran with 25 years of experience. This includes significant board experience in telecom companies globally," the company said.

Kapania has also served on the Global GSMA Board for two years and was also the chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for two years.  

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The company said it has also appointed Sushil Agarwal, a nominee of Aditya Birla Group, as an additional director with effect from August 4.

The debt-laden telecom operator is struggling due to mounting losses and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of over Rs 50,000 crore it owes to the government. Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed its plea for recalculation of AGR dues.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba in June, Birla had offered to hand over his stake in the company to the government or any other entity that the government may consider worthy to keep the company operational.

Birla, who holds around 27 per cent stake in VIL, said in the letter that investors are not willing to invest in the company in the absence of clarity on AGR liability, adequate moratorium on spectrum payments and most importantly floor pricing regime above the cost of service.

Without immediate active support from the government on the three issues by July, the financial situation of the company will come to an "irretrievable point of collapse," he said.

According to official data, Vodafone Idea had an adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of Rs 58,254 crore, out of which the company has paid Rs 7,854.37 crore and Rs 50,399.63 crore is outstanding.

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