Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Vodafone group CEO Colao decides to call it a day

Vodafone group CEO Colao decides to call it a day

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. Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates.

The announcement came as Vodafone reported an annual profit of €2.8bn (£2.5bn), compared with a loss of €6.1bn a year ago when it wrote down the value of its Indian business.

Colao's decade as CEO at Vodafone has been mostly characterised by sales to clean up a sprawling global network of businesses and stakes in telecoms companies that he inherited from his predecessor Arun Sarin in July 2008.

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.

Commenting on the results, Colao said: "This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance". The $130bn sale of the company's position in Verizon Wireless in 2013 cemented his legacy as the man who shrank what was then the world's biggest mobile phone company and cleansed it of past excesses. "And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe's leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents".


There doesn't seem to be any juicy gossip behind the move, he has presumably just made a decision to spend more time with his cash, having spent a decade in charge.

Vodafone's earnings announcement on Thursday pointed to other challenges ahead for Read, as the company battles low-end price competition in Spain and prepares for the entry of Iliad's discount carrier in Italy. "As a result, underlying EBITDA grew 7.9 per cent".

Vodafone reported today (May 15) profit for 2018 rose 15.3 per cent to £2.5 billion (€2.8bn) for the three months ending March 31.

By creating India's largest telecoms operator, Vodafone is seeking to reverse its troubled fortunes in the country, where the company's revenue slumped 18.7 percent during its last financial year.

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

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