Airtel plans up to 20% job cuts in Africa

30 July 2015 |


Bharti Airtel plans to reduce 20% of its African workforce this year, including the departures of senior executives in the region.

Approximately 700 to 800 employees of Bharti Airtel’s Africa tower operations are expected to depart the company in the next six months, while as many as 20 senior executives across the board are set to leave, sources told Economic Times.

Airtel is restructuring its operations in Africa in an effort to revive its business in the region. The operator has struggled to be profitable since entering the continent in 2010.

At least six top Airtel Africa executives have departed in the past two months. They include George Fanthome, chief information officer; Willie Ellis, director of data; Mark Chambers, project director of segmentation; Sagar Darbari, finance vertical head; Vishal Gupta, supply chain management head, and Somasekhar VG, executive operations director of strategic business unit for countries like Zambia, Congo B, Malawai, Burkina Faso, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles.

Airtel Africa’s employee count was 5,130, as of March 2015. According to a company spokesman, several employees of its Africa tower operations have already moved to the acquiring entity, while others were in the process of moving as the transactions closed.

Airtel presently has operations in 17 African countries. Earlier in July, it raised $1.3 billion from the sale of tower assets in five African countries in a bid to reduce debt.