Nick Read to head Vodafone

Vittorio Colao of Vodafone Group

The CEO, who ran Vodafone for a decade and has set a departure date for October, is to be replaced by current finance director Nick Read, who himself joined the organisation back in 2001.

The Vodafone Group Plc Board conducted a succession planning process that involved the detailed assessment of potential internal and external candidates.

It follows a 10-year managerial career in which the Italian businessman took the company from a consumer-focused mobile operator into a digital communications powerhouse, offering everything from cable TV to broadband and enterprise services.

Its customer base has also doubled from 269 million to 536 million across 25 countries.

Read has been CFO since April 2014 and was previously CEO for the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region.

Data traffic on network of Vodafone India increased four fold but the company could not reap financial benefits because of sharp decline in data prices.

Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao delivers a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. 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. He's now the chief financial officer so is well known in City and investment circles.

Leinster Looking For 4th European Title This Evening
"We looked at each other in the changing room after the Scarlets match and thought we could go to the next level". He was their goal kicker and their playmaker who got them going.

Vodafone shares plunged over 4% despite the company announcing consensus-beating FY 2017 results (Adj. EBITDA +12% YoY organic, beating 10% guidance).

"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", commented Gerard Kleisterlee, the Group's Chairman.

"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.

The turnaround pointed to a "year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance", Colao said. "It is the right time.to start with a new dedicated management team".

Despite this, Philip Carse, analyst at Megabuyte, described Vodafone's United Kingdom operation as "the sick man of Europe" as service revenue locally dropped 3.6 per cent to €6.1bn versus comparative growth in other big country ops.

It announced the takeover last week to buy operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania - helping it become "the leading next generation network owner in Europe" with a total reach of 110 million homes and businesses, including wholesale arrangements.

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