Vittorio Colao steps down after decade at Vodafone

Vittorio Colao of Vodafone Group

Separately, Vodafone said that, effective October 2018, CEO Colao will be succeeded by Chief Financial Officer Nick Read. "Vodafone India has been classified as discontinued operations for Group reporting purposes", Vodafone said.

Vodafone, which also announced its full-year results, said CEO Vittorio Colao, who spent 10 years reshaping the group into a digital communications powerhouse, would be replaced by its current finance director. "It is the right time ... to start with a new dedicated management team".

Following the news, shares in Vodafone fell nearly 4 per cent.

On the face of it this appears to be sensible timing for change. Before CFO, the Briton had previous roles heading up the company's emerging markets and United Kingdom divisions. 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. "Colao has made a decision to leave before people start saying, 'You've been in the job too long"'. Colao was appointed CEO in July 2008. 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.

Vodafone now has 16.1 million broadband customers, of which 9.9 million are fibre or cable, while it also has 9.9 million TV customers.


The Board of global telco Vodafone Group has revealed the succession plan for the role of Group Chief Executive.

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.

Based on guidance FX rates, and under IAS18 accounting standards, this implies an adjusted Ebitda range of EUR14.15 billion to EUR14.65 billion for the year.

Vodafone India continues to face tariff war heat and reported 18.7 per cent decline in organic service revenue to around Rs 35,045 crore in 2017-18 compared to Rs 42,927 crore service revenue registered in the preceding fiscal. "And of course there's a big opportunity of integrating these new businesses, both Liberty and over in India", to better challenge incumbents to the benefit of customers and shareholders, he said. "Frankly, today I have none".

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