Here's when: Vodafone boss to stand down after 10 years
15 May, 2018, 22:18 | Author: Essie Rivera
Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years at the helm of the world's second-largest mobile operator. That is impressive given how much fierce competition, regulation and the growth of messaging services such as Facebook's WhatsApp have dragged on Vodafone and peers in the past decade.
The announcement comes less than a week after Vodafone unveiled a deal to turn it into Europe's largest cable and broadband operator by buying assets from USA peer Liberty Global.
"After all, Vodafone is an established player in a mature market and has few levers to pull for growth".
"We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India - which is expected to close imminently - and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies".
Last week Vodafone struck a $21.8 billion deal to buy Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and other markets to strengthen its business in Europe, where 35 percent of its proforma revenue came from fixed line a year ago.
On the face of it this appears to be sensible timing for change. Margherita Della Valle, VOD's Deputy CFO, will take over as CFO on July 27, 2018.
Chief financial officer Nick Read, 53, has been promoted to the top job, having been groomed as the preferred internal candidate. He joined Vodafone in 2001 as Vodafone UK Finance Director before being appointed Vodafone UK Chief Commercial Officer then Vodafone UK CEO.
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The reduction in mobile termination rates added to the woes of the company. The challenge for Read, who is now the company's chief financial officer, is to make a success of the giant Liberty Global deal at a company that's more used to pruning than growing its portfolio. The two agreed to merge their Dutch businesses in 2016. The tricky task of convincing them otherwise will be Read's problem. The mobile customer base doubled from 269 million to 536 million during his tenure, and the company added almost 20 million broadband customers.
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.
The telecom company's organic service revenue came in at Rs 35,045 crore in FY18 compared to Rs 42,927 crore service revenue registered in the preceding fiscal year.
Read said he had been alongside Colao through the process of reshaping Vodafone, and he would now deliver the benefits for shareholders and customers.
Colao, however, said the business had been transformed. Analysts have long speculated that the former McKinsey & Co. consultant could shift back to Italy - where he joined Vodafone through its acquisition of Mannesmann - to move into Italian politics.
He added he would be working flat out until his departure in October, but that he had no plans after that. "Frankly today I have none".
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