Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

The other big news today is that long time Vodafone Group CEO, Vittorio Colao, is to be replaced by their Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Nick Read, on 1st October 2018. In 2013, Vodafone sold its stake in Verizon Wireless to U.S. telecoms group Verizon Communications for $130bn, which at the time was one of the biggest deals in corporate history.

Colao's legacy includes pulling the company out of the US by abandoning a joint venture with American telecoms giant Verizon and striking a $22 billion deal with the world's biggest worldwide TV and broadband company, Liberty Global. The telco credits Colao with transforming Vodafone "from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies".

Vodafone is also merging its operations in the highly competitive Indian mobile market with Idea Cellular.

"At the date of the Group's Annual General Meeting on 27 July 2018, Deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will succeed Nick Read as Group Chief Financial Officer and will join the Board, and Nick Read will become Group Chief Executive-Designate", it said. Meanwhile the Group CFO role will go to Margherita Della Valle, who is now the deputy CFO.

Having joined Vodafone in 2001 he has held a number of roles including sitting on the boards of the company's listed operations in Africa and Qatar, its subsidiaries in India and Egypt and its joint venture in Australia.

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Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive global operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen.

She was previously Group Chief Financial Controller, Chief Financial Officer for the Europe region, and Chief Financial Officer for Vodafone Italy.

The announcement came as Vodafone reported an impressive set of results, including major organic growth, for the fourth quarter.

Core earnings rose 11.8 per cent to €14.7 billion, beating guidance for "around 10 per cent" organic growth and just ahead of analyst forecasts of €14.6 billion.

For 2019, the group forecast organic adjusted core earnings growth of between 1 and 5 percent, and free cash flow before spectrum costs of at least Euro 5.2 billion, slightly down on the 2018 number of Euro 5.4 billion.

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