Idea Cellular and Vodafone Group on Thursday announced the new leadership team of the soon-to-be merged entity that will have Kumar Mangalam Birla as the non-executive Chairman. Announcing the top deck for the merged entity, a regulatory filing by Idea Cellular said that Balesh Sharma (currently Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India) will be the CEO. He will be responsible for the combined business strategy and its execution as well as driving integration.
“The existing leadership teams of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will continue to manage their separate businesses and be accountable for each company’s operational performance until the merger becomes effective,” Idea Cellular said.
It may be recalled that the two companies had, in 2017, announced they will combine the operations to create the country’s largest telecom operator worth over USD 23 billion, with a 35 per cent market share.
The merger of Vodafone-Idea — which is set to dislodge the numero uno player Bharti Airtel — was imminent as the incumbent operators have been bruised by aggressive offers from newcomer Reliance Jio, which triggered a tariff war in the Indian telecom market.