Vodafone weighs on Britain's FTSE after CEO steps down

Daniel Fowler
May 15, 2018

British telecom major Vodafone said today that Nick Read will be the next CEO of the company, succeeding Vittorio Colao.

LONDON -Vodafone announced on Tuesday that long-serving CEO Vittorio Colao will step down later this year.

He will be replaced by current finance director Nick Read.

Read, now the group's CFO, will take over from October 1.

Colao has been in the hot seat since 2008, overseeing a period of transformation which has seen the business reorient itself from a consumer focussed mobile operator into a communications empire operating the largest mobile and fixed-generation network in Europe.

Vodafone further updated investors on its tie-up in India where the group's local unit is merging with Idea Cellular, noting that the deal is expected to close next month.

Having joined Vodafone in 2001 he has held a number of roles including sitting on the boards of the company's listed operations in Africa and Qatar, its subsidiaries in India and Egypt and its joint venture in Australia.

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"On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure". Valle was appointed Deputy Group Chief Financial Officer in 2015.

Gerard Kleisterlee, chairman, said Mr Read had been the "co-architect of the group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive global operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen".

The announcement came as Vodafone revealed its full-year financial results, which saw revenue dip 2.2% to €46.6 billion, hit by struggles in the Indian market, where EBITDA has declined by more than a third.

That deal was only announced last Wednesday, and if approved by competition authorities, will see Vodafone take control of Liberty Global's operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania.

In the United Kingdom, service revenue fell 8.1 per cent to €6.1 billion, although Vodafone says that with constant exchange rates this would only have been 3.6 per cent.

"This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance", noted Colao.

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