Bharti Airtel Group CIO Jai Menon Quits

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 09, 2013


Bharti Airtel Group CIO and the company’s director of global innovation & IT, Jai Menon, has stepped down from his post, an announcement he had made last Friday. Sources however reveal that he had been sacked for alleged violation of the company’s code of conduct, even though Menon has denied the charges.

Responding to the allegations, Menon informed, “These are purely speculative and baseless.  The exit is part of my plan.” He explained that he had quit his post so that he can go back to research and innovation of new technologies and intellectual property (IP).” Two decades ago, when he was in the US, Menon was involved in creation and development side of the industry, after which he spearheaded business. This time, he wanted to focus on bringing some innovation in the Indian market,” he told a leading daily.

 The 50-something executive, joined India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel in 2002 as CIO and corporate director for IT. He became the Group CIO in 2007. According to a report, Menon had earlier left Airtel twice. In 2005, Menon had quit Bharti to join its rival Reliance Communications but came back to the Bharti Enterprises soon after. Then again in September 2010 he left to join Vodafone as its Group Technology Strategy Director. In 2011, he headed back to Bharti Airtel. The exists was known to be for personal reasons.

During his initial years at Airtel, Menon played an important role in the company’s growth when it was looking to slash costs amidst falling tariffs. Later, as Bharti’s CIO, he was instrumental in striking a $800-million deal with IBM for ten years, under which Bharti outsourced all its IT requirements to the global giant.

Menon graduated from IIT Delhi and was an alumnus of Cornell University in the US. He began his career at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Labs in the US where he became executive director of IBM’s software group. He has also worked with AT&T in the US as its CTO for IT across all lines of businesses.