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Dhaka Tribune

Airtel’s new CEO assumes office in June

Update : 17 May 2014, 07:30 PM

Mobile phone operator Airtel will get a new chief executive officer and managing director in June as the incumbent Chris Tobit is resigning from the office on contract expiry.

PD Sharma, CEO of Kolkata, West Bengal and Orissa Telecom Circle of Bharti Airtel, will replace Tobit, said the operator sources.

Sharma already paid a visit to Dhaka last week and saw for himself the operations of Airtel Bangladesh. Rubaba Dowla, chief service officer and head of M Commerce in Airtel Bangladesh, confirmed PD Sharma’s Dhaka visit.

“The new CEO hasn’t joined yet, but we are expecting PD Sharma to join with us any time in June,” she told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. During his visit last week, Sharma went to Airtel head office in Dhaka and meet some senior executives on Thursday, sources said. Then, he left for Kolkata on Friday.

Chris Tobit, first CEO of Airtel Bangladesh, joined before rebranding Warid as Airtel in 2010.

His three-year contract with company expired last year. However, Tobit has continued to serve before making the replacement.

Chris Tobit is also the current chairman of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Association of Bangladesh (AMTOB) board. After leaving the Airtel’s charge, he will also need to cease continuing the chairmanship of AMTOB.

Presently, the Airtel is number four mobile operator in Bangladesh in terms of subscribers. As of April 2014, the number of subscribers stood at 85.03 lakh with 7.3% of market share.

In 2010, Bharti Airtel bought 70% shares of Warid Telecom at $100,000.

Airtel purchased more 30%stakesof the company last year at $85 million, according to official documents. The operator claims its total investment in the company is now $1bn, making it the largest investment in Bangladesh by any Indian company. 

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