Vittorio Colao steps down after decade at Vodafone

Vittorio Colao steps down after decade at Vodafone

Mr Colao, who previously ran Vodafone's Italian business before being appointed chief executive in 2008, will be replaced by the FTSE 100 firm's chief financial officer Nick Read.

The announcement comes less than a week after Vodafone unveiled a deal to turn it into Europe's largest cable and broadband operator by buying assets from US peer Liberty Global.

The chief executive of Vodafone is to step down after a decade in charge, days after announcing a major expansion deal in Europe. "It is the right time ... to start with a new dedicated management team".

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Vodafone said it was close to gaining regulatory approval for the planned merger of its Indian operations with Idea Cellular.

Vodafone India's revenue was 1,379 million euros (Rs 10,547 crore) during the fourth quarter a year ago and 1,063 million euros (Rs 8,580 crore) in the October-December quarter. Before CFO, the Briton had previous roles heading up the company's emerging markets and United Kingdom divisions.

Meanwhile, at the date of Vodafone's AGM on July 27, deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will succeed Read and join the board, and Read will become group chief executive-designate.

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For Read it's a "step-up" role, after a good track record at Vodafone, said James Ratzer, a telecoms analyst at New Street Research in London. "Colao has made a decision to leave before people start saying, 'You've been in the job too long"'. Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said that both the companies have already starting branding exercise for the new entity. "Today Vodafone is at a natural juncture, the strategic 10-year reshaping of the group is now nearing completion", Colao, 56, told reporters. The two agreed to merge their Dutch businesses in 2016.

Colao, who has been a big part in making Vodafone into one of the global telecom groups, has stepped down only days after the company sealed an €18bn (Rs 1654 crore) takeover of Liberty Global's German and eastern European cable companies, Vodafone's biggest takeover of his tenure. Although Colao declined to hazard a guess on when the price wars in India would ease, he said "any positive movement in prices would lift back the situation".

The exit of Colao is known at same time that company has reported that its benefit attributed annual until last 31 of March was of 2.439 billion of euros, compared to losses of 6.297 billion euros in same period of previous year.

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