October 18th 2017

Top Stories / National

Exclusive - Troubled Airtel Kenya CEO Adil Youssefi shown the door

Airtel has also appointed Prasanta Das Sarma who takes office immediately. A Telecom Engineer with a Post-Graduate Diploma MBA in Finance, the new CEO is a veteran Airtel insider with 14 years at the Indian-owned company.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 01 Feb 2017 14:35 EAT

Airtel Kenya headquarters at Parkside Towers, Mombasa Road.

Troubled Airtel Kenya CEO Adil Youssefi has left the company. After two days of senior management meetings involving executives from Airtel Africa, Mr Youssefi, a national of Morocco, was asked to resign from his position at the end of his contract to enable the company implement operational and management changes that some of the firm's employees felt the outgoing CEO was too ineffectual to deliver.

Airtel has appointed Prasanta Das Sarma who takes over immediately. A telecom engineer with an MBA in Finance, the new CEO is a veteran Airtel insider with 14 years at the Indian multinational. PD, as he is fondly called by colleagues, has been an effective hand in his postings, according to company sources, and his coming to Kenya, in the words of one source, reflects Airtel's determination to change course in the Kenyan market.

"PD is known for taking up tough assignments," said the source, who told this website that the new CEO's most recent achievement was presiding over a successful merger of rival operators in Bangladesh that eventually made the Airtel subsidiary in that country the second largest market with strong growth prospects. The merger involed substantial jobs as well.

Before becoming MD & CEO of Airtel Bangladesh, the new CEO served as the Hub CEO of the Eastern Hub of Airtel’s business in India and has also served as a Vice President, Network & Customer Service, an internal memo to the employees indicated. The memo credited Mr Youssefi, who joined Airtel in April 2014, with the successful integration of Yu customers into Airtel after Airtel bought off its smaller rival.

Mr Youssefi also increased Airtel’s distribution and customer experience, "including growing our own shops presence from 4 to 29. Adil also launched many innovative products that provided great value to our customers," the memo said.

This website has exclusively reported about a management crisis at Airtel Kenya following an exodus of talent and fraud involving staff members.

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