Marten Pieters, the managing director (MD) and chief operating officer (CEO) of telecom major Vodafone India, has resigned from the company after a stint of over six years, as per a press release. His resignation will be effective from April 1, 2015.
The company has elevated Sunil Sood, currently working as chief operating officer (COO), to take Pieters’ place. Pieters will continue on the board of Vodafone India in a non-executive capacity. It will announce Sood’s successor as COO in due course.
Pieters joined Vodafone India in February 2009 as MD and CEO. He had taken over from Asim Ghosh, a long time chief of the firm, who retired in 2009.
Under his leadership, Vodafone India doubled its revenues, added more than 100 million customers, increased market share and launched data services used by more than 57 million customers.
He was also appointed as chairman of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in 2014.
“Marten’s term as chief executive has been marked by outstanding business performance and exemplary leadership in a highly complex sector and operating environment. He is to be commended for his many achievements and hands on to his highly experienced and respected successor the stewardship of a substantial enterprise serving the needs of 174 million customers,” said Analjit Singh, the chairman of the board of Vodafone India.
In the current role, Sood is responsible for day-to-day operations and P&L management together with new business development initiatives including the launch and expansion of mobile commerce activities.
He joined Vodafone India’s predecessor business, Hutch, in 2000 and has held roles leading the company’s operations in Gujarat, Kolkata and Chennai.
Prior to joining Hutch, he had worked with Pepsi and held various Indian and international leadership roles.
Sood holds a B Tech from IIT (Delhi) and PG diploma in management from IIM (Kolkata).
“Sunil has extensive operating experience and knows Vodafone India from within. He is therefore a great choice to grow and expand the business and I look forward to a successful transition,” Singh added.
Vodafone entered India in 2007 by buying Hutchison Whampoa’s local cellular assets in a $11 billion deal and later bought out Essar in the JV. It directly and indirectly owned a combined 84.5 per cent of Vodafone India, the country’s second-largest telecom firm by users and revenue and last year bought out its other partners Max Group’s Analjit Singh and Piramal Enterprises to make it a wholly owned firm.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)