RCom’s CEO steps down - Mobile World Live

RCom’s CEO steps down

03 OCT 2016

The head of India’s fourth largest operator Reliance Communications (RCom), Vinod Sawhny, resigned effective 30 September, with William Barney and Gurdeep Singh taking over as acting co-chief executives.

Sawhny, citing personal reasons for his departure, joined RCom in February 2014 and in the last year orchestrated merger deals with two smaller rivals that will see major changes in RCom’s structure.

RCom’s $690 million deal to acquire Russian conglomerate Sistema’s Indian telecom unit, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, was approved by the Rajasthan High Court, but still needs approval from the Bombay High Court, the company said.

And last month RCom signed an agreement to merge with Maxis Communications’ Aircel, which will create the country’s third largest operator.

RCom and Aircel had been in merger talks for nearly a year. RCom and Maxis reportedly agreed earlier in the year to a 50:50 ownership structure if a deal was reached. RCom will demerge its wireless business to enable the deal, but will continue to own and operate its enterprise, data centre and fibre optic assets, as well as owning real estate.

Sawhny also forged a number of spectrum deals with 4G upstart Reliance Jio, which is run by Mukesh Ambani, brother of Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, who said the spectrum sharing agreements have created a “virtual merger” between the two operators.

Prior to joining RCom, Sawhny worked for Bharti Group for more than 10 years.

New co-CEO Barney previously served as head of RCom’s Global Cloud Xchange and India enterprise business, and Gurdeep Singh was CEO of its consumer business.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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