France Telecom announced that Sanjiv Ahuja, CEO of its Orange wireless unit is stepping down to "pursue new ventures." Ahuja will remain chairman of Orange U.K. and an adviser to France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard. France Telecom also noted that it would become a partner in one of Ahuja's new ventures, which will target emerging markets. HP executive Olaf Swantee is stepping in to fill Ahuja's position at Orange.
Ahuja made something of a splash at CTIA last month during his keynote speech by warning carriers that they must improve their customer experience to avoid becoming "dumb pipes." During the CTIA speech, Ahuja announced a deal with the Bebo mobile social networking service and discussed Orange's mobile healthcare initiatives.
For more on Ahuja:
- see this report from the WSJ (sub. req.)