Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Vodafone longtime CEO to step down as company returns to profit

Vodafone longtime CEO to step down as company returns to profit

Vodafone group chairman Gerard Kleisterlee remarked: "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". The telco credits Colao with transforming Vodafone "from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies".

Read, who was appointed to his current post four years ago, previously ran Vodafone's Africa, Middle East and Pacific region. In 2013, Vodafone sold its stake in Verizon Wireless to USA telecoms group Verizon Communications for $130bn, which at the time was one of the biggest deals in corporate history. He will be succeeded by the group's finance chief Nick Read, while deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will take the top finance job. "Vittorio will leave as his legacy a company of great integrity with strong inclusive values that is exceptionally well-positioned for the decade ahead".

In a separate statement, Vodafone updated investors on its full-year performance, posting a 15.4-percent rise in operating profit to €4.3 billion, while also disclosing a 2.2-percent fall in total revenue to €46.6 billion.

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Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive global operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen.

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.

"Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum", he added. In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant co-controlling stake in India's largest listed tower company.

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The news came as Vodafone revealed a 40pc hike in annual pre-tax profits to €3.9bn (£3.4bn) as it signed up record numbers of high-speed broadband customers.

This includes last week's deal with Liberty Global for Vodafone to acquire cable networks in Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.

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