Vodafone Essar has announced that its Chief Executive, Asim Ghosh, would retire on March 31, 2009. Marten Pieters, who was earlier CEO of Celtel International BV, would succeed him. However, Ghosh would continue as a non-executive member on the Board of Vodafone Essar. Celtel International is stated to be the leading African mobile operator.
Ravi Ruia, Vice Chairman, Essar Group, and Chairman, Vodafone Essar, said, “Asim did a tremendous job as Chief Executive. He has led from the front to grow the company in size and stature, and built a strong team comprising the finest talent in the industry. I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the business and will be counting on his continued guidance to the company as a member of the Board. I look forward to working with Marten to build on the strong platform established by Asim.”
Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone Group, and Vice Chairman of Vodafone Essar, said, “I am delighted to announce Marten Pieters’ appointment as successor designate to Asim. India is our fastest growing market and Marten has very good experience of telecommunications across a very wide range of mature and emerging markets. I am confident he will lead the business and the team, which Asim Ghosh has built to even greater success. We are very pleased that Asim will continue his association with Vodafone Essar, the Board will continue to benefit from his contribution.”
Ghosh said, “We started on a ride in Mumbai in 1998. We never realised then what a rollercoaster it would be. Over 10 years, serving tens of millions of subscribers, with a fabulous team, a great brand, a company with a great future, it has been a ride I wouldn’t exchange for anything else. With Marten, the company will be in great hands.”
Ghosh took over the operations of what is now Vodafone Essar in August 1998, when it was a single license area operator with 140,000 subscribers, and it has since grown to all-India operations with 63 million subscribers. He has led the company through a period of significant growth and change, both strategic and organisational.