Airtel Africa appoints Olusegun Ogunsanya as MD, CEO of Africa unit

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Airtel Africa on Thursday has appointed Olusegun Ogunsanya as the MD and CEO of its Africa subsidiary, following Raghunath Mandava’s announcement to retire from his post and as director on Airtel Africa PLC’s board on 30 September, the company said..

Segun Ogunsanya will take charge on 1 October 2021 and will join Airtel Africa’s board on the same day. He joined the company in 2012 as the MD and CEO of Nigeria. He has more than 25 years of experience in business management across banking, consumer goods and telecom sectors and He has been responsible for the overall management of the telco’s largest market in Nigeria, its largest market in Africa..

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Before Airtel Africa, Ogunsanya held senior managerial roles at beverage maker Coca-Cola in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. He was the MD of Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd owned by Coca-Cola Hellenic, and was the group head of retail banking operations at Ecobank Transnational Inc., where he oversaw 28 countries in Africa.

“Raghu Mandava will be retiring as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, as a Director of Airtel Africa plc, and as a member of the Market Disclosure Committee on 30 September 2021. Arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Following his cessation of employment at Airtel Africa, Mr. Mandava will be available to advise the Chairman, the Airtel Africa Board and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for a 9-month period,” the telco said in a statement by the company.

“We are delighted to appoint Segun Ogunsanya as the Group’s next Chief Executive Officer. He has displayed significant drive and energy in turning around the Nigeria business by focusing on network modernisation, distribution, and operational efficiency,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, said.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Raghu Mandava for being instrumental in successfully leading and transforming the company into powerhouse telecommunications and mobile money company… As we look forward to Segun assuming his new role in October 2021, we do so from a position of great strength as a result of Raghu’s highly effective stewardship,” Mittal added.

Bharti Airtel also announced the appointment of Jaideep Paul, who is currently the chief financial officer of the Africa unit, as an executive director on the company’s board, effective 1 June. Airtel said an announcement on Ogunsanya’s successor as MD and CEO, Nigeria will be made soon.

“Having been at Bharti Airtel for 13 years and at Airtel Africa for 5 years as Chief Executive Officer, I feel now is the right time to take a sabbatical. The last five years have been an exhilarating journey where we have been able to do a turnaround and transform the business into strong high growth and profitable company,” said Raghu Mandava.

“Having been part of the Airtel Africa journey for the past nine years, I am looking forward to taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer… This is an exciting opportunity to position Airtel Africa for further success in a dynamic continent full of potential,” said Segun Ogunsanya.

Airtel Africa is the holding firm for Bharti Airtel’s operations in 14 countries, with Nigeria alone accounting for almost half of its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

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