Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao to step down

Vittorio Colao is stepping down from Vodafone Vittorio Colao is stepping down from Vodafone
Orlando Vargas | 15 May, 2018, 18:47

Nick Read, finance director since 2014, will replace him.

On the face of it this appears to be sensible timing for change.

The announcement came as Vodafone reported an annual profit of €2.8bn (£2.5bn), compared with a loss of €6.1bn a year ago when it wrote down the value of its Indian business. Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates. "Colao has made a decision to leave before people start saying, 'You've been in the job too long"'. Colao was appointed CEO in July 2008. Other revenue, including mobile terminations and inter-network operator fees grew 19.5 per cent to €5.5bn.

"The overall improvement in Vodafone's fortunes over the last 10 years is less evident in the United Kingdom, the company's worst major European market, albeit that some of this reflects an inherently more competitive mobile market with four strong players", he added.

This includes last week's deal with Liberty Global for Vodafone to acquire cable networks in Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.

Read will be left to convince regulators to approve the deal with Liberty, which is facing stiff opposition from Deutsche Telekom and isn't due to close until mid-2019.

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"Following the completion of Idea's equity raising in February 2018, under the terms of the merger agreement with Idea the Group intends to inject up to 1 billion euro (around Rs 7,500 crore) of incremental equity into India, net of the proceeds of the sale of a stake in the joint venture to the Aditya Birla Group (ABG), prior to completion", Vodafone said.

By creating India's largest telecoms operator, Vodafone is seeking to reverse its troubled fortunes in the country, where the company's revenue slumped 18.7 percent during its last financial year.

"It really is an opportunity to elevate what we offer for our customers", Read said to reporters.

Telecommunication giant Vodafone's CEO Vittorio Colao stepped down from his position on Tuesday. Analysts have long speculated that the former McKinsey & Co. consultant could shift back to Italy - where he joined Vodafone through its acquisition of Mannesmann - to move into Italian politics.

He added he would be working flat out until his departure in October, but that he had no plans after that. "Frankly today I have none".

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