HomeBUSINESSVI’s chief executive Takkar to step down next month

VI’s chief executive Takkar to step down next month

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Vodafone Idea managing director and chief executive Ravinder Takkar will step down from his post at the end of his three-year term on 18 August, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

Takkar will be replaced by Vodafone Idea’s incumbent chief financial officer, Akshaya Moondra, who will take charge from 19 August for three years, the company said after a board meeting. Takkar, however, shall continue to be a non-executive and non-independent director on Vodafone Idea’s board post the completion of his current term.

Vodafone Idea said it will announce the appointment of a new chief financial officer in due course. The top management reshuffle at the country’s third biggest telco comes at a time when the sector is gearing up for 5G auctions next week.

Sector watchers expect Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea to bid for over one-third of the spectrum put on sale.

Analysts expect Vodafone to buy at least 50MHz spectrum in 3.3GHz in metro and A-circles and acquire 400MHz of spectrum in the 26GHz band by spending in the range of $1.7-2.3 billion.

Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has put in 14,000 crore as earnest money. Bharti Airtel deposited a more modest 5,500 crore, and Vodafone Idea Ltd, the weakest of the three telcos, deposited 2,200 crore.

The management change also comes ahead of the proposed conversion of the government’s interest dues in Vodafone Idea to shares.

Mint reported on 16 July that the finance ministry had informed the telecom department that it could proceed with the transaction.

The Aditya Birla Group promoted telco is awaiting conversion of interest on dues related to adjusted gross revenues (AGR) for financial years up to FY17 amounting to 16,000 crore into equity, after which the government will own about 33% in the carrier, becoming its largest shareholder. The promoter equity will reduce to 50% from almost 75%.

The government gave Vodafone Idea the option of a moratorium on payment of dues of 16,000 crore as part of the relief package announced in September. The equity holding structure may change following additional equity of 436 crore being put in by Euro Pacific Securities, a Vodafone Group Plc entity. The carrier sought shareholder approval for the same in a special meeting on 15 July.

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