Vodafone boss to stand down after 10 years

Vodafone boss to stand down after 10 years

Colao was appointed to the role in July 2008, and over 10 years at the helm has diversified Vodafone beyond its roots in consumer mobile to become an global enterprise services provider, establishing a leading position in the internet of things (IoT) as well as embracing 4G and broadband services.

Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said Colao had been an "exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone". 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.

In 1996, Colao joined Omnitel Pronto Italia, which subsequently became Vodafone Italy, and he was appointed Chief Executive in 1999.

There doesn't seem to be any juicy gossip behind the move, he has presumably just chose to spend more time with his cash, having spent a decade in charge. He also served on the boards of Vodacom Group and Vodafone India.

Chief financial officer Nick Read, 53, has been promoted to the top job, having been groomed as the preferred internal candidate.

"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.

Yet Vodafone's share price, which is 6.5 percent below its early February level when the deal was first reported, implies investors are anxious that antitrust concessions from Brussels will delay or slash the benefits of the deal.

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.

Full year core earnings rose 11.8 percent to 14.7 billion euros, beating guidance for "around 10 percent" organic growth and just ahead of analyst forecasts of 14.6 billion euros.

Vodafone expects organic adjusted EBITDA growth, excluding settlements and United Kingdom handset financing, of 1-5%, implying a range of €14.15-14.65bn.

Fixed revenues now account for a quarter of Vodafone's income.

Colao said he would take some time off in August to consider his next move.

His departure follows that of Martin Sorrell at WPP after 33 years in charge, meaning the FTSE 100 has lost two of its longest-serving CEOs in a short period of time. "There is still a lot to do between now and October".