Tulip Telecom’s Joint CEO resigns

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Deepak Khanna
Deepak Khanna

Deepak Khanna, Joint Chief Executive Officer of debt-ridden Tulip Telecom, has put in his papers to pursue opportunities outside the company.

Khanna’s next professional move could not be immediately ascertained, as he could not be reached for comments on Monday.

In response to a Business Line query, a spokesperson for Tulip said: ‘Exits are a part of business cycle and Tulip Telecom remains committed to developing and retaining talent that’s essential to its business plans.'

Its Chairman and Managing Director Hardeep Singh Bedi will now play a larger role in day-to-day operations of Tulip.

“Tulip Telecom is focused on strengthening the company’s financials and driving strong growth for its operating business. Towards that end, Col. Bedi, Chairman and Managing Director will be playing an active leadership role. He will be leading a strong professional management team comprising regional and services COOs supported by a strong middle management backbone,” the spokesperson said.

Khanna’s departure comes at an interesting time for the enterprise services provider. In May, Tulip had received a formal nod for its debt re-jigging proposal from the Empowered Group of the Corporate Debt Restructuring Cell. A consortium of 13 banks and financial institutions that had given loans to the company approved the package, which covers debt of Rs 3,000 crore. Tulip has been accumulating debt in the last few years due to heavy investments in data centres and for financing its working capital requirements.

HR challenges

Despite things looking up on the financial front, the company faces a host of HR challenges. The company has not paid salaries to its employees for the last few months. In a communication dated May 15 to Business Line, the company’s HR head had said that pending dues of employees would be cleared within 60 days.

As Joint CEO, Khanna’s mandate was ‘to lead the next wave of growth within the company,’ as per the Tulip Web site.

Prior to this, Khanna has worked with companies such as Bharti Airtel, Escotel, HCL and others.

(This article was published on June 17, 2013)
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