Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

VODAFONE Group plc chief executive officer Vittorio Colao is stepping down, announcing he will leave following a decade at the helm of the mobile-phone company a week after sealing his biggest purchase yet following a prolonged period of retrenchment.

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said in a web conference that both companies had starting a branding exercise for the new entity. Margherita Della Valle, now deputy CFO, will succeed Read as CFO.

"He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future", Kleisterlee said.

Della Valle was appointed deputy Group CFO in 2015. She will also join the company's Board of Directors at this time.

The 56-year old Italian origin CEO inherited Rs 22,100 crore tax dispute between Vodafone and Indian government for a deal between Hutchinson Essar and Vodafone in 2007 that paved entry of the British telecom operator in India.

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

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Vodafone India's service revenue dropped 29% on-year to 979 million euros (Rs 7,902 crore) in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 as the country's second-largest telco reeled under the effects of cuts in local and worldwide interconnect rates and price wars ahead of a planned merger with Idea Cellular.

Commenting on the results, Colao said: "This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance". Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates. In Spain, Vodafone added some 164,000 mobile customers, 109,000 fixed-line households and 51,000 television, despite strong competition in last quarter of fiscal year.

"Now is the right time to begin the transition", Colao said on a call with reporters.

"On March 20, 2017, Vodafone announced an agreement to combine its subsidiary, Vodafone India (excluding its 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers), with Idea Cellular".

Proceeds from the Verizon sale allowed Colao to make investments in Vodafone's European network, adding cable and fibre assets and modernising mobile businesses so the carrier could offer bundled services in the bulk of its markets. "Our primary focus continues to be to accelerate the "Digital Vodafone" programme, which we believe is a unique opportunity to enhance our customers' experience, generate incremental value and improve cost efficiency".

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