Vittorio Colao passes on baton at Vodafone

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to leave after a decade in charge

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to leave after a decade in charge

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said at a web conference that both the companies have already starting branding exercise for the new entity. During his tenure, Vodafone's mobile customer base grew from 269 million to 536 million.

Mr Colao said it had been a "real privilege to lead the group through a decade of massive strategic transformation". With CFO Nick Read (4 years in the position) slated to replace Vittorio Colao at the helm, investors looked to be erring on the side of caution about the group's direction under new leadership.

"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. Read will officially step into the CEO role on October 1, and the CFO post will be filled by current deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle.

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"Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive worldwide operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen", commented Gerard Kleisterlee, the Group's Chairman.

Shares in Vodafone were down 3.59pc at 199.76p, making the mobile operator the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index this morning. He was previously the Group's Chief Executive for the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region and served as a board member of a number of Vodafone's emerging markets subsidiaries including Vodacom Group and Vodafone India. Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates. Vodafone reported a 1.4% fourth quarter increase in service revenue, ahead of forecasts of a 1.1% rise, plus an 11.8% increase in earnings to €14.7 bn.

"Vittoria Colao has certainly chosen a good time to bow out, having finally consummated a significant and strategically beneficial deal with Liberty Global, as well as reporting a relatively decent year to March 2018", said Carse.

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"Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum", he added.

Germany, Vodafone's largest territory, grew 2.3 per cent to €10.84bn, the United Kingdom was up 2.2 per cent €7.07bn and Italy grew 1.7 per cent to €6.2bn.

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