Nigeria’s Ms Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili has been appointed to the board of Bharti Airtel Limited, a global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, following restructuring of the telco’s Board.
The changes on the Board of Bharti Airtel also extend to its subsidiary Bharti Infratel. The changes have been effected in view of the proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Bharti Infratel, which is a leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure in India.
As part of the restructuring, Ms Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Former World Bank Vice President for Africa and a world-renowned expert on economic reforms and economic governance, joins the Bharti Airtel Board. Ms Ezekwesili has a strong track record in the transparency, accountability, good governance, and anti-corruption movement worldwide, having been one of the co-founders of Transparency International.
As the Vice President of the World Bank in charge of the Africa region, Ms Ezekwesili was responsible for operations in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and supervised a lending portfolio of over US$40 billion.
Ms Ezekwesili previously served as director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Program in Boston and Abuja. She holds a master’s in international law from the University of Lagos, a master’s in public policy and administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a chartered accountant.
Commenting on the restructuring, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “These changes have been effected in line with our strong corporate governance culture and will ensure that Bharti and Singtel have distinct representatives on the Boards of Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel. I am confident that these two world-class Boards will continue to guide these companies to greater heights. I would also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Directors for their contribution to the Board of Bharti Airtel.”
Following the restructuring exercise, the composition of the two Boards would be as follows.
For Bharti Airtel: Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal (Chairman and Managing Director), Mr. Ajay Lal, Ms. Chua Sock Koong, Mr. Craig Ehrlich, Mr. Manoj Kohli, Mr. Manish Kejriwal, Mr. N. Kumar, Mr. Nikesh Arora, Ms. Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Mr. Pulak Prasad, Mr. Rajan Bharti Mittal, Ms. Tan Yong Choo and Mr. Tsun-yan Hsieh.
For Bharti Infratel: Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal (Chairman), Mr. Akhil Gupta (Vice Chairman and Managing Director), Mr. Bharat S. Raut, Mr. Jitender Balakrishnan, Mr. N Kumar, Mr. Sanjay Nayar, Mr. Sarvjit Singh Dhillon and Mr. Vinod Kumar Dhall.
Bharti Infratel deploys, owns and manages telecom towers and communication structures, for various mobile operators across 18 states of India and has been the industry pioneer in adopting green energy initiatives across its tower network. It has a footprint of over 33,000 towers and holds a 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers Limited – a Joint Venture between Bharti Infratel, Vodafone & Idea Cellular.