Vodafone and Idea had already confirmed about their proposed merger earlier last year. The original merger announcement said that the management team of the combined business would be confirmed prior to closing of the deal. Now, both the telcos have announced the leadership team of the combined business which will come into effect after the Vodafone-Idea merger is completed.
The merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular will make it the top telecom operator in country, unseating Bharti Airtel. Currently, Vodafone and Idea are country’s number two and number three telecom companies respectively. Vodafone will own 45.1 percent stake in the merged entity, while Idea Cellular will have a 26 percent stake. The remaining 28.9 percent will be held by other shareholders.
If we talk about the leadership of merged entity, Kumar Mangalam Birla, who is chairman of Aditya Birla Group, will be the non-executive chairman of the merged company. A non-executive chairman is not entrusted with operational responsibilities and only has the board responsibilities.
Next, Balesh Sharma, who is currently Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India, will be the CEO of the merged company. Mr. Sharma will be responsible for the combined business strategy and its execution as well as integration, as per a statement from Vodafone.
Akshaya Moondra, who is currently Chief Financial Officer at Idea, will lead the finance department of the merged entity. Ambrish Jain, who is currently Deputy Managing Director at Idea, will be the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the merged company.
After the approval from the shareholders and the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the proposed merger, the companies will now approach the Department of Telecom (DoT) for the final approval. Once all these approvals are completed, the merger is expected to come into effect by the first half of the current year.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, and Aditya Birla Group Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, said “We are pleased to announce the proposed management team for the new company to be created through the merger of Vodafone India and Idea. The team has extensive operational experience and is an excellent blend of expertise from both companies. We look forward to the completion of the merger and competing as one company in the marketplace.”