Economy

Vodafone promotes CFO Read to succeed Colao as CEO

Vodafone promotes CFO Read to succeed Colao as CEO

On the same day the operator announced group CEO Vittorio Colao will step down from his post in October after a decade in the job.

At the company's annual general meeting in July, deputy chief financial officer Marghertia Della Valle will take over as chief financial officer, with Read becoming group chief executive-designate.

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.

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.

"Today Vodafone is at a natural juncture, the strategic 10 -year reshaping of the group is now nearing completion", Colao, 56, told reporters. He joined Vodafone in 2001 as Vodafone UK Finance Director before being appointed Vodafone UK Chief Commercial Officer then Vodafone UK CEO.

Vodafone management team has selected Nick Read for the top position because of his experience in managing business. She was previously Group Chief Financial Controller, Chief Financial Officer for the Europe region, and Chief Financial Officer for Vodafone Italy.

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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".

News of the succession plan came as Vodafone reported its Full Year results.

Total revenue fell 2.2% €46.6bn, reflecting foreign exchange headwinds and the negative impact from the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the VodafoneZiggo joint venture with Liberty Global.

The turnaround pointed to a "year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance", Colao said.

Vodafone said it was close to gaining regulatory approval for the planned merger of its Indian operations with Idea Cellular.