Vodacom Tanzania grabs two Airtel execs


Vodacom Tanzania’s new boss has already shown his ability to ruffle feathers after he took two executives with him from Airtel to the Tanzania telecom operator. The move by Rene Meza, Airtel’s former CEO, comes as telecommunications operators across the region are pushing forward with ambitious expansion plans this year.

Rene Meza, Airtel’s former CEO (image: Airtel)

“I think it shows just what companies are up against,” Henry Wassawa, an IT blogger based in Nairobi, told IT News Africa. “With Tanzania moving toward competing with Kenya, it will not be surprising to see this sort of thing happen again.”

Meza has taken Luis Fedriani, Airtel’s IT director, and Hassan Saleh, their sales director, to the Tanzanian unity owned by rival Vodafone UK. That makes three Airtel executives jumping ship to Vodacom since September.

Airtel said in a statement on Thursday that the moves have forced it to look more local in its leadership and are finding “it difficult to fill top sales and technical positions with local labor,” which has forced the company to look abroad for replacements.

“I can confirm that the two (Fedrian and Saleh) will be joining Vodacom Tanzania from February 1 in executive positions,” said Meza in a telephone interview with Business Daily.

Janan Yussif