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OneWeb taps Srikanth Balachandran as new CFO

Balachandran joins from Bharti Global, where he was CFO since October 2018.

New Delhi: Broadband satellite communications company OneWeb, owned by the UK government and Sunil Bharti led Bharti Global and other strategic investors, has named Srikanth Balachandran as the chief financial officer.

Balachandran joins from Bharti Global, where he was CFO since October 2018. Prior to his appointment at Bharti Global, he was CFO of Bharti Airtel for seven years, during which Airtel engaged in some intense mergers and acquisitions, grew its customer base five-fold to become the world's number three mobile operator in subscriber numbers and expanded its operations to as many as 18 countries.

He was closely associated with Airtel's successful launch and scaling up of the satellite TV business in India and the rapid expansion of Airtel's global business across the globe, as per the company’s statement. He also held the role of chief human resources officer for three years at Airtel.

Balachandran said, "Our plans to create a telecoms network in space will be game-changing and will help realise OneWeb's vision of 'internet access everywhere, for everyone.’ We will invest responsibly for customer experience and profitable growth.”

OneWeb had declared bankruptcy in March 2020 after failing to get more investment from its primary investors, including Japan-based Softbank. It emerged from its bankruptcy proceedings in November 2020 with a new ownership board led by the UK government and Indian telecom Bharti Global.

The company plans to take 648 low earth orbit satellites into space to deliver internet connectivity to nearly all land and sea surfaces across the globe. It put up 36 new satellites into space last December.

"Having had the opportunity to work with Srikanth in his most recent role as CFO of Bharti Global, the team at OneWeb has seen first-hand the wealth of experience and expertise he will bring to his new position at OneWeb. He will assume responsibility for helping us deliver our ambitious business plan, securing additional funding and establishing high standards of governance,” said OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson.  

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