24 March 2014

Kenya: Airtel Kenya MD Shivan Bhargava Replaced By Tigo Ghana Boss

Airtel Kenya CEO Shivan Bhargava has been replaced by the mobile operator, and his position taken over by Milicom's Tigo Ghana general manager Adil El Yousseffi.

Shivan Bhargava who replaced Rene Meza - who is now CEO of Vodacom Tanzania - joined Airtel Kenya as chief operating officer (COO) in 2012 from Essar Telecom's yuMobile.

His departure coincides with the takeover of yuMobile subscribers by Airtel Kenya following a deal which will see Essar exit the Kenyan market after years of losses.

The deal would see Airtel add an extra 2.1 million new subscribers on its network sending its new market share to above the 25% mark with a combined user base of 8.2 million subscriptions.

Sources tell CIO East Africa that an email drafted to employees said that Bhargava had chosen to spend more time with his family in India.

Notably this is another planned high level exit from the company that of the former managing director of Bharti Enterprises Manoj Kohli who is to be replaced by Gopal Vittal starting April 1.

Shivan Bhargava took as mobile number portability was taking root in Kenya that saw Airtel increase its market share from 15 percent to 16.5 percent in one quarter to the current 17.6 percent as per the latest CCK statistics.

During the same time Bhargava was among mobile telecom executives quizzed by police over unregistered SIM cards following the Westgate mall terrorist attack that saw the country review its SIM card regulations.

Prior to joining Airtel Kenya, Bhargava was the regional logistics and planning manager at Coca-Cola India. His educational background spans both technical and marketing with a Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications Engineering, coupled with post graduate qualifications in Business Management, specialized in Marketing.

Adil El Yousseffi, the new CEO from Tigo Ghana, is just over one year on the job at his former employer as the country head and has previously worked Milicom group as the deputy general manager in Chad and a senior adviser on Sri Lanka.

Outside Milicom, Yousseffi has also worked for British Telecommunications and Philips Consumer Electronics.

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