Deutsche Telekom appoints Bharti Airtel exec as new Europe head

Deutsche Telekom appointed a Bharti Airtel executive as its new board member for Europe, replacing Claudia Nemat with effect from Jan. 1, 2017.

Srini Gopalan, who currently holds the position of consumer director for India at Bharti Airtel, will join the German telco on Oct. 1 but will not take over Nemat's duties fully until January.

As previously reported, Nemat is to head Deutsche Telekom's new technology and innovation department and will ultimately relinquish all responsibility for the Europe segment.

Ulrich Lehner, chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Telekom, stressed that Gopalan has the type of international background that is essential for such a role.

"Srini Gopalan brings a number of advantages to the table: he knows the company and the industry, he has international experience and the right attitude for continuing Claudia Nemat's successful work," Lehner said.

Before joining Airtel, Gopalan worked in the UK for over 10 years, including roles at T-Mobile UK, where he was responsible for marketing and sales. He was part of the management team that created EE -- the joint venture of Deutsche Telekom and Orange that has now been sold to BT.

He later served as director of the consumer business unit at Vodafone UK for three years.

Nemat's new role was announced at the end of June when Deutsche Telekom announced a reshuffle of its board. The new technology and innovation unit will incorporate the telco's convergent network, innovation and IT activities and help it better meet the demands of future networks that will be increasingly characterised by intelligent software control.

The operator also appointed Thorsten Langheim as EVP responsible for "group corporate development" with effect from Jul. 1, 2016. Langheim will continue to bear responsibility for M&A, corporate strategy and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, which backs one of Europe's largest technology investment funds.

In addition, he will also take on responsibility for Deutsche Telekom's investment management activities. In this role, he will be responsible for investments in the U.S. (T-Mobile US) and the UK (BT Group).

For more:
- see this Deutsche Telekom release on Srini Gopalan
- see the Deutsche Telekom release on Claudia Nemat

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