Telecommunications and mobile money services giant- Airtel Africa Plc, on Tuesday announced the retirement of 57-year old Olusegun Ogunsanya from the board and company as its Chief Executive Officer, almost 12 years after he joined the Barti Airtel Group as CEO of the Nigerian subsidiary on November 26, 2012, from where he appointed the group chief executive in October 2021.
He will be replaced effective July 1, 2024 by Sunil Taldar, who joins the board as Executive Director and assume the role of CEO, following a transition period.
Taldar joined the group in October last year as Director, Transformation with responsibility for leading and overseeing key strategic initiatives aimed at transforming Airtel Africa’s business and operations.
He joins Airtel Africa, according to a statement pasted on the Nigerian Exchange Limited portal with over 30 years of business management experience in the Fast Moving Consumer Group and telecommunications sectors.
These include 15 years as a member of various management boards such as
Bharti Airtel, where he was Director, Market Operations; Cadbury China; as well as Mondelez India and Indonesia.
The statement however named Ogunsanya inaugural chair of Airtel Africa Charitable Foundation, building on the work undertaken by him during his time as CEO. This, the statement noted, include the launch of the company’s first Sustainability Strategy, and given his deep experience across Africa including running Airtel Africa’s Nigeria telecommunications and mobile money operations.
The Charitable Foundation, which will have its own separate legal personality and be independent of the Airtel Africa Group, is expected o accelerate Airtel Africa’s commitment to its sustainability initiatives and charitable operations across its locations in Africa.
It will focus on promoting digital inclusion, financial inclusion, access to education, and environmental protection
In addition, the group said Ogunsanya will also be available to advise the Airtel Africa board chairman and Chief Executive Officer for a 12-month period.
Commenting on the retirement, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Airtel Africa Plc thanked “Ogunsanya for his commitment and significant contribution to Airtel Africa plc as Chief Executive and before that as Managing Director and CEO of Nigeria, our largest market in Africa.
“Under Segun’s leadership, Airtel Africa has maintained double-digit revenue growth and continued to deliver new, industry-leading products to our customers across Africa.
“I am pleased Segun has agreed, following his retirement, to assume the new role as Chair of the Airtel Africa Charitable Foundation, where he will bring his visionary leadership to this new philanthropic initiative to advance development and prosperity across Africa. Segun will retire from the board with our very best wishes and sincere appreciation for everything he has achieved,” he stressed.
“The board is delighted to appoint Sunil Taldar as the Group’s next Chief Executive Officer. His industry experience, strategic vision, constant customer focus and proven record of delivery will enable him to deliver our strategic objectives and to lead the Group in the next stages of its development.
“In respect of the transition period, Segun continues to lead the business very effectively as seen in our financial results. Given that Sunil Taldar has already joined the Group, we are confident that we will have an orderly leadership transition and handover of responsibilities.”
Also speaking on his retirement, Ogunsanya said: “It has been a privilege to spend over 12 years of my career at Airtel Africa and I am proud of what we have delivered for customers across Africa. We continue to transform lives.”
Now, he continued, “is the right time to handover to a new leader who can build on Airtel Africa’s strengths and deliver on the significant opportunities ahead as I pursue my renewed interest in the empowerment of Africans through digital and financial inclusion in a different capacity beyond the boundaries of for-profit organizations. This has been my ambition after a successful career spanning over 35 years in banking, FMCG and telecommunications”.