Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

Vittorio Colao steps down after decade at Vodafone

From the group's AGM in June already, Read will become CEO designate, while deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will become group CFO and join the board of directors.

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

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 USA peer Liberty Global.

Vodafone announced in a statement this morning that its chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October this year following a decade at the helm of the blue-chip telco.

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

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

In 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of Vodafone but government made amendment in tax regime same year and served notice to the British firm again.

Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Group, gestures as he speaks during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.

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Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates. "Colao has chose to leave before people start saying, 'You've been in the job too long"'. Colao also oversaw one of the biggest deals in corporate history when Vodafone sold its stake in Verizon Wireless for $130bn (€109bn) in 2013.

"The overall improvement in Vodafone's fortunes over the last 10 years is less evident in the United Kingdom, the company's worst major European market, albeit that some of this reflects an inherently more competitive mobile market with four strong players", he added. The two agreed to merge their Dutch businesses in 2016.

Vodafone India on Tuesday posted an operating profit of Rs 9,805 crore for the financial year 2017-18, ended March 31.

During his time at Vodafone, Colao has steered the company towards success.

"Losses continued in India as service revenue declined 18.7 per cent as a result of intense price competition from the new entrant, aggressive competitor responses and a significant reduction in MTRs (mobile termination rates)", Vodafone said. "Frankly, today I have none".

For Colao, what life after Vodafone will look like hasn't been decided, he said.

"I'm going to be working flat out until October and then I will start thinking and evaluating options and alternatives", Colao said.

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