Vodafone promotes CFO Read to succeed Colao as CEO

Vodafone promotes CFO Read to succeed Colao as CEO

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao is to step down from the company following a decade in charge of the United Kingdom operator.

Colao, who has been chief executive since July 2008, will be replaced by chief financial officer Nick Read.

FTSE 100 telecommunications firm Vodafone Group PLC on Tuesday reported organic earnings growth came in above guidance, while also saying Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will depart later this year. At the date of the Group's Annual General Meeting on July 27th 2018, Deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will succeed Read as Group Chief Financial Officer and will join the Board, and Read will become Group Chief Executive-Designate.

The company said it had been "transformed" on Mr Colao's watch "from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies", with "the largest mobile and fixed next-generation network in Europe" and a substantial enterprise arm. I am confident Vodafone will benefit greatly from his experience, insight and wisdom in his new role as group chief executive.

"While the succession news may have caught the markets off-guard, it appears to be an orderly change within the group", Accendo Markets analyst Artjom Hatsaturjants said as Vodafone's share price dropped 2.6 percent in London morning deals.

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Vodafone Group Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: "On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure".

Profit of Vodafone was €2.8 billion, including €2.2 billion net of tax reduction in the carrying value of the Group's operations in India and a €1.9 billion increase in deferred tax assets in Luxembourg.

The announcement comes less than a week after Vodafone unveiled a deal to turn it into Europe's largest cable and broadband operator by buying assets from USA peer Liberty Global.

Revenue fell 2.2 per cent to £46.5 billion compared to past year, due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and fluctuating currency rates.

After all, medium-term financial results are only part of corporate success, with vision and strategy providing an equally (some say more) important other side of the coin.

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