Segun Ogunsanya
Ogunsanya, Airtel MD

OBINNA EZUGWU

Airtel Africa plc has announced the appointment of Olusegun “Segun” Ogunsanya as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, to succeed Raghunath “Raghu” Mandava. This follows Mandava’s decision to retire.

Ogunsanya will join the Board of Airtel Africa plc with effect from 1 October 2021, a statement from the company said on Thursday.

The new MD, Ogunsanya joined Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 African countries, in 2012 as Managing Director and CEO Nigeria and has been responsible for the overall management of our operations in Nigeria, our largest market in Africa.

Segun, the statement said, has more than 25 years’ business management experience in banking, consumer goods and telecoms. Before joining Airtel in 2012, Segun held leadership roles at Coca-Cola in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya (as MD and CEO). He has also been the Managing Director of Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (Coca-Cola Hellenic owned) and Group head of retail banking operations at Ecobank Transnational Inc, covering 28 countries in Africa. He is an electronics engineer and also a chartered accountant.

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.

An announcement naming Segun Ogunsanya’s successor as Managing Director and CEO Nigeria will be made soon, according to the statement.

Commenting on the development, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman said: “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. It is this commitment, together with his industry experience, strategic vision, constant customer focus and proven record of delivery that will enable him to continue to deliver our strategic objectives and to lead the Group in the next stages of its development.

“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Raghu Mandava for being instrumental in successfully leading and transforming Airtel Africa into a powerhouse telecommunications and mobile money company. Throughout that time, Raghu has worked tirelessly first to repair and then to strengthen Airtel Africa’s business and to champion our stakeholders. 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. Raghu will retire from the Board with our very best wishes and sincere appreciation for everything he has achieved.”

Also commenting, the retiring Mandava said: “I am thankful to Airtel Africa for providing me and my team the opportunity to transform the business and fulfil our responsibility to the countries in which we operate. It has been a privilege to serve in the African continent and I cherish my time here. Airtel Africa is a remarkable business with fantastic people. 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 turnaround and transform the business into a strong high growth and profitable company. We have been able to build the business with our unique management and problem solving approach to bring in substantial performance improvement. I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past 5 years in Africa, and I look forward to seeing the Company make even greater progress over the coming years.”

On his part, Ogunsanya said: “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. On a personal note, as an African, I feel honoured to have the opportunity to lead a Group that continues to make a difference to millions of people, bridge the digital divide and expand financial inclusion. This is an exciting opportunity to position Airtel Africa for further success in a dynamic continent full of potential. I look forward to building on the achievements of the last five years during Raghu’s leadership.”