Former Airtel exec takes over as Deutsche Telekom Europe head

Former Airtel exec takes over as Deutsche Telekom Europe head

Deutsche Telekom has restructured its top management by giving former Bharti Airtel executive Srini Gopalan responsibility for 11 European countries outside Germany.

Europe was previously the responsibility of Claudia Nemat, previously head of Europe and technology. Her role has been expanded to cover technology and innovation, including network, innovation and IT functions in the group.

Both executives started their new roles on the first working day of January, six months after the appointments were announced. Greece’s OTE is among Gopalan’s responsibilities; Nemat will head Deutsche Telekom’s cloud and virtualisation projects.

“We’re strengthening technology, innovation and IT with the new board department on the one hand, while on the other hand we’re strengthening our market position with a new head of Europe who has extensive experience with consumers,” said Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

Gopalan was head of retail at Bharti Airtel in India, a job he left in September 2016 to take up the Deutsche Telekom position. He has previously worked for the group’s mobile operation, T-Mobile, where he was chief marketing officer from June 2009 to August 2010. He then spent three years with Vodafone before joining Airtel.

His responsibilities cover Deutsche Telekom’s activities in Greece – where the group has a controlling stake in OTE – as well as Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Austria, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. According to his LinkedIn profile, he will be based in the UK.

Nemat’s role will focus on network innovation, including software-defined networks, virtualisation and cloud services. The company said: “Innovations in telecommunications are increasingly emerging by network, IT and products interacting with one another. In response, we will now manage these functions together in a single organisational unit, successfully creating a further prerequisite for the digital transformation.”

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