CEO who took Vodafone out of Verizon deal stands down
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years in which the Italian reshaped the world's second largest mobile operator into a digital communications powerhouse with a string of major deals.
The urbane Colao will be replaced by Nick Read, finance director since 2014, whose broad international experience had marked him out as the likely next leader of a group with 536 million mobile customers and €47bn in revenue.
He will take charge of a group that, under Colao, pulled back from its once brazen expansionist drive, most notably when it sold out of the United States with a $130bn exit from a joint venture with Verizon.
"We have taken a company which was mostly consumer, mostly mobile, very spread with a lot of minorities, and have turned it into a powerhouse of convergence, with only controlled or co-controlled companies and a very strong enterprise business," Colao said.
Last week Vodafone struck a $21.8bn deal to buy Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and other markets to strengthen its business in Europe, where 35pc of its proforma revenue came from fixed line last year.
And in India, which it entered with great fanfare in 2007, it is merging its operations with Idea Cellular to bulk up in a market that has been hit by intense competition. (Reuters)