Indian phone maker Micromax's CEO quits amid falling sales

An employee stands at the counter of Micromax mobile phones at a showroom in New Delhi December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The chief executive of India’s second-largest phone manufacturer has left the company, the second high-profile departure within a year, as the business grapples with falling sales in the face of competition from cheaper Chinese handsets.

Micromax said that Vineet Taneja has left to pursue other opportunities. It did not name a successor but said that senior management can handle operations in his absence.

The company’s low-cost smartphones have enabled it to grow rapidly since 2008, but sales have slowed more recently. Shipments fell by 12.1 percent in the final quarter of 2015, against growth of 15.4 percent for sector as a whole, data from industry tracker IDC showed.

Taneja joined Micromax from Samsung Electronics’ Indian business in 2014 as the company began to step up its international expansion into countries such as Russia.

In the past year, however, Micromax has been undercut by even cheaper feature-rich smartphones sold by Chinese rivals including Xiaomi, Lenovo, and LeEco.

Taneja’s exit comes almost a year after former Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor resigned as Micromax chairman.

Micromax, which is majority owned by its four co-founders, has expanded into areas such as personal computers and televisions, but mobile phones still account for the bulk of its business.

Reporting by Himank Sharma; Editing by David Goodman