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Voda rejigs board, nominates Sood, Massidda as additional directors

Vodafone Group Plc has nominated Sunil Sood and Diego Massidda as additional directors on the board of its India unit joint venture-Vodafone Idea (Vi).

The nomination and remuneration committee of Vodafone Idea confirmed the board appointments replacing Vivek Badrinath and Thomas Reisten, who have resigned from the posts.

The changes in the board were announced on Wednesday. The rejig comes ahead of Vi’s planned fund raising to help the company upgrade its network and meet the debt obligations. Last September, the telecom company’s board had announced plans to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through a mix of debt and equity.

Sood started his career in telecom joining Vodafone in 2000 and was managing director and CEO of Vodafone Idea from 2015-18. He held senior commercial and financial roles in the group between 2018 and 2020. Massidda has over 18 years of telecommunications experience at the CEO level, managing wireline, TV and wireless businesses prior to moving to the current position of CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets, which provides services to other telcos in 45 different countries, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Badrinath who exits the board of Vi is chief executive officer of Vodafone group’s tower company in Europe called Vantage Towers. Vodafone is planning an IPO of the Vantage Towers in Europe next month. Reisten is the chief financial officer of the tower company.

Vi, which has adjusted gross revenue dues of over Rs 58,000 crore, is in discussion with a consortium led by Oaktree Capital Management to raise up to $2 billion in capital. While the firm has already paid Rs 7,850 crore towards AGR dues, it may have to shell out another Rs 3,650 crore by March end, as indicated by officials in the Department of Telecom. Business Standard News

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