Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao to step down

May 16, 2018, 13:43
Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao to step down

Vodafone Group Plc says that Read was chosen as the successor to Colao following an extensive search for a replacement CEO.

Colao's departure comes amidst some of Vodafone's largest M&A activity. "It will be the right time to start with a new dedicated management team".

Vodafone claims 92 per cent of all data sessions are now at least 3Mbps and hopes IoT and zero rating add-ons will offset any decline in traditional revenue caused by the popularity of SIM-Only and Multi-SIM deals.

While the precise timing couldn't have been anticipated, the handover to Read is being seen as natural by analysts and will give investors a familiar face. Before CFO, Mr Read had previous roles heading up the company's emerging markets and United Kingdom divisions.

Mr Read will be replaced by deputy chief financial officer Margherita Della Valle on July 27, which is the date of Vodafone's annual shareholder meeting. "Colao has made a decision to leave before people start saying, 'You've been in the job too long"'.

During the decade under his leadership, Vodafone has been transformed from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies with a diverse portfolio including the largest mobile and fixed next-generation network in Europe, a significant worldwide enterprise division, and global leadership in the "Internet of Things".

He was also instrumental in Vodafone's $130-billion stake sale in Verizon Wireless.

Vittorio Colao steps down after leading Vodafone's transition from 2G to the 5G, IoT and fibre future.

Interestingly Colao's journey as CEO of Vodafone Plc also coincides with the company's India timeline.

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.

Vodafone's results showed underlying earnings - the company's preferred profit measure - rose 12 per cent on an organic basis to €14.7 billion, ahead of the company's guidance of 10 per cent organic growth.

Colao regime took major decision to merge Vodafone India with Aditya Birla Group firm Idea Cellular for sustenance of the two debt-ridden firm amid intense tariff war in India.

The company added over 1 crore pre-paid customers but lost 5.8 lakh contract or postpaid customers in January-March.

Organic service revenue was up 1.6%, with fourth quarter growth of 1.4%, showing good momentum in data, fixed/convergence and Enterprise.