Current Job: Chairman, Godrej Group of Companies
MBA, University of California at Berkeley
MS, University of California at Berkeley
Raised in Mumbai
Arun Sarin was the chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, the United Kingdom-based global mobile operator. An India-born United States citizen and Indian Institute of Technology graduate with a Bachelor in Science (Engineering), Sarin gained a Master in Science (Engineering) and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, at Berkeley in 1978. He started his career as a management consultant before moving, in 1984, to the Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco. Soon after entering in the corporate development, he involved himself completely in acquiring the first cellular licenses in the US as well as then later winning the first cellular license in Germany and a personal communications network license in the United Kingdom He was consequently promoted to chief financial officer and chief strategy officer at Pacific Bell, and then later on became vice-president and general manager, San Francisco Bay Area Telephone Company, a Pacific Bell division with 12,000 employees. Following the demerger from Pacific Telesis of the mobile and paging businesses to form Air Touch Communications, Arun was appointed senior vice-president of corporate strategy and development, where his work was to develop and implement a growth strategy encircling partnerships and acquisitions, which included the merger with the US West wireless business.
After becoming the president and the chief executive officer o f AirTouch International, Sarin involved himself in the acquisition of wireless licenses in several overseas territories and establishing the management teams of these new ventures. He was a key negotiator in getting hold of of AirTouch by Vodafone Group Plc..
In addition, he headed the Global Technology division, responsible for the introduction of wireless internet services. In 2000, with the successful merger of Vodafone AirTouch’s US businesses with those of Bell Atlantic and GTE to form Verizon Wireless, Sarin, while still maintaining a non-executive directorship of Vodafone AirTouch Plc, became CEO of Infospace. In 2001 he joined Accel-KKR Telecom, a telecom investment and management business, where he evaluated numerous opportunities in the telecommunications industry around the world and oversaw the acquisition of Bell Canada’s Yellow Pages business, In April 2003 he became CEO designate of Vodafone Group Plc and assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer on July 30th 2003.
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