Arun Sarin

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Arun Sarin
Born (1954-10-21) 21 October 1954 (age 63)
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, India
Nationality American
Education B.Tech (1975) IIT, Kharagpur
MS (1978) UC Berkeley
MBA (1978) Haas School of Business
Occupation Business executive
Known for Former CEO of Vodafone
(2003 - 2008)
Board member of Accenture
Ola Cabs
Cisco Systems
Charles Schwab
UC Berkeley

Arun Sarin (born 21 October 1954) is an Indian-born American telecommunications executive.

Sarin was the former [CEO] of the telecom giant Vodafone Group plc, serving from 2003 till 2008. He was the driving force behind the Vodafone's strategic move into emerging markets, especially Asia and Africa; through the purchases of Turkish operator Telsim, and a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar in India. Until recently he was a senior advisor at the private equity firm KKR. He also serves on the board of directors of Ola Cabs, Cisco Systems, Charles Schwab and Blackhawk Networks.

Sarin, a naturalized American citizen and resident, received an honorary knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 10 March 2010.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Sarin was born in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, India, in 1954. He pursued his secondary education at the prestigious Bangalore Military School. Thereafter, he joined the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and graduated with a B.Tech degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1975. In 1978 he gained a MS in Engineering and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.[2]


Early career and AirTouch (1984 - 1999)[edit]

He started his career as a management consultant before moving, in 1984, to Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco. He was a director of AirTouch from July 1995 and was President and Chief Operating Officer from February 1997. He was responsible for the worldwide operations and strategy of the mobile phone company.[citation needed]

Vodafone (1999 - 2008)[edit]

AirTouch was sold to Vodafone in 1999 for about $75 billion. He was then appointed Vodafone's Chief Executive Officer for the United States and Asia Pacific region until 15 April 2000, when Vodafone's U.S. interests were merged into Verizon Wireless. He subsequently became chief executive of InfoSpace in 2000, and of Accel-KKR Telecom based in San Francisco from 2001 to 2003, while serving as a non-executive director of Vodafone. He rejoined Vodafone as Chief Executive Designate on 1 April 2003 and was appointed on a permanent basis after the Company's annual general meeting on 30 July 2003. On 27 May 2008, he announced his resignation (effective July) as CEO after Vodafone achieved record earnings.[citation needed]

During his tenure as Chief Executive of Vodafone group plc, he expanded the company geographically into countries like India, Turkey, South Africa etc. increasing the customer base to approximately 300 million. He expanded the product line of the company to include data, internet and broadband services. He streamlined the operations of the company under the Vodafone brand to utilize the global scale while maintaining local customer focus. He increased the dividends per share by 400 percent and returned value to shareholders through buybacks.[citation needed]

Sarin retired from Vodafone immediately after the company's annual general meeting on July 29, 2008, and was succeeded by then Deputy-CEO Vittorio Colao.[3][4] Colao is paid a 975,000 pounds salary, compared with the 1.3 million pounds Sarin received at the end of March 2008, according to the group's annual report and accounts published.[5]

After Vodafone (2008 - till date)[edit]

In October 2009, Sarin was appointed as a senior advisor at the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR).[6] He is a strategic advisor to the Indian-based music streaming service Saavn and owns a minority stake in the company.[7]


He serves on the board of directors of Ola Cabs,[8] Cisco Systems, Accenture[9] and Charles Schwab. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley.[10]


  1. ^ "Arun Sarin conferred Honorary knighthood". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Arun Sarin - Alumni Profiles, Full-Time MBA Program - Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  3. ^ "Vodafone Announces New Chief Executive". Vodafone. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  4. ^ "Vodafone, cambio al vertice Sarin si dimette, è l'ora di Colao". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Milan. 2008-05-27. 
  5. ^ "Arun Sarin walks out of Vodafone rich". The Times Of India. Press Trust of India (PTI). 2008-06-11. 
  6. ^ "KKR | KKR Appoints Arun Sarin as Senior Advisor". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  7. ^ "Saavn Reaches 18 Million Monthly Users, Adds Ex-Vodafone CEO as Investor-Advisor". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  8. ^ "Ex-Vodafone global CEO Arun Sarin joins Ola board". The Hindu. 
  9. ^ "Accenture Announces Appointment of Arun Sarin to its Board of Directors". Accenture. 
  10. ^ "Board". Blum Center for Developing Economies.