Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to step down in October

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to step down in October

During the decade under his leadership, Vodafone has been transformed from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies with a diverse portfolio including the largest mobile and fixed next-generation network in Europe, a significant worldwide enterprise division, and global leadership in the "Internet of Things".

Vodafone Group has announced CEO Vittorio Colao is stepping down from October and will be succeeded by CFO Nick Read.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure", said Gerard Kleisterlee, Chairman of Vodafone Group, in the company's statement. Margherita Della Valle, VOD's Deputy CFO, will take over as CFO on July 27, 2018.

Since becoming CEO in 2008, 56-year-old Colao has been integral in Vodafone's growth into one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world.

In fact, Colao has been working with Vodafone for last two decades.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of Vodafone but government made amendment in tax regime same year and served notice to the British firm again.

The FTSE blue-chip benchmark was broadly flat by 0840 GMT while Vodafone shares, index heavyweights, were the worst performer with a 2.5 percent fall.

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Vodafone recently struck a $21.8bn deal to acquire Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and in India the company is merging its operations with Idea Cellular to strengthen its position in a market that has become increasingly competitive.

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

Following the announcement, Vodafone's stock fell 3.2% in early London trading. 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.

Organic service revenue - what Vodafone gets from customers' plans and traffic on its networks excluding handset sales - rose 1.4% in the three months through March 31, compared with growth of 1% forecast by the average of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Looking ahead, Vodafone expects to grow adjusted organic Ebitda by 1% to 5%, excluding the impact of United Kingdom handset financing in both years, and the significant benefit in the prior year from regulatory settlements in the United Kingdom and a legal settlement in Germany.

Born in northern Italy, Colao cut his teeth as a management consultant at McKinsey before in 1996 he joined Omnitel Pronto Italia, which later became Vodafone Italy. Analysts have speculated that he could move into Italian politics. "There is still a lot to do between now and October".

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