Airtel Kenya Appoints New CEO and Board Chair

Airtel Kenya New CEO Ashish Malhotra

Kenya’s second largest telecom operator Airtel Kenya has made some changes in its management team.

First and foremost, its CEO Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma has left the company.

His roles have been handed over to Mr. Ashish Malhotra.

In the same breath, Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma is heading to Airtel Africa as co-CEO for Fibre Services.

Mr. Malhotra’s experience spans more than two decades in the telecoms sector.

He was previously the Group Head of Sales and Marketing at Airtel Africa, leading the function in 14 countries where Airtel is operational.

According to a statement, he was instrumental in doubling revenues, streamlining pricing principles, and building strong unique selling propositions across the countries.

He holds an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), India, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Sri Ram College of Commerce, India.

He takes over from Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma, who has held the position since January 2017 and was key in growing the subscriber base from 5 million to 16 million.

That’s not all: the telco has appointed a new Chairman of the Board, Mr. Louis Onyango Otieno.

Mr. Otieno is equipped with a wealth of experience spanning three decades of leadership experience in ICT across private and public sectors, with a proven track record as a board member in companies across industries.

He began his career at EEC Financial Services in New York, rising to the position of Assistant Vice President. He later joined Microsoft Corporation in 1997, leading the business in Africa in different capacities for 21 years.

Mr. Otieno holds an MBA from Long Island University, Brooklyn in New York, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry in New York.

At the same time, the new Chairman also undertakes the same role for Absa Asset Management Limited. He is also an independent non-executive director at Absa Bank Kenya Plc and Nation Media Group Plc.


“We wish to congratulate Mr. Otieno and Mr. Malhotra on their appointment and wish them success in their new roles. We look forward to working with them to take Airtel Kenya to the next level, as we continue delivering innovative and relevant solutions for individuals and businesses in the country,” the Board said in a statement.


  1. i wish the new CEO works on improving transimisssion in most of Airtel network sites locations, they use radio, even in areas that make sense to use fiber. they are slow to respond to issues and querries, and sometime they dont let strategic investments and plans to live long enough

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