Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

Vodafone falls 3% on CEO resignation

Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) have fallen deep into the red in London this morning as the blue-chip telco announced that its chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down later this year. He joined Vodafone in 2001 as Vodafone UK Finance Director before being appointed Vodafone UK Chief Commercial Officer then Vodafone UK CEO.

FTSE 100 telecommunications firm Vodafone Group PLC on Tuesday reported organic earnings growth came in above guidance, while also saying Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will depart later this year. Deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will succeed Nick Read as CFO and will join the Board. Colao was appointed CEO in July 2008.

Read, who was appointed to his current post four years ago, previously ran Vodafone's Africa, Middle East and Pacific region.

On behalf of the board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure.

Profit of Vodafone was €2.8 billion, including €2.2 billion net of tax reduction in the carrying value of the Group's operations in India and a €1.9 billion increase in deferred tax assets in Luxembourg. "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".

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Last week, Vodafone paid €18.4bn to buy Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and Eastern Europe.

Colao was appointed to the role in July 2008, and over 10 years at the helm has diversified Vodafone beyond its roots in consumer mobile to become an worldwide enterprise services provider, establishing a leading position in the internet of things (IoT) as well as embracing 4G and broadband services. Fixed revenues now account for a quarter of Vodafone's income.

Total revenue for the year ended March 31 was down 2.2% to EUR46.57 billion, "primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements".

"This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance", said Colao.

Vodafone's operating profit rose to €4.3 billion compared to €3.7 billion in the prior year, reflecting operational leverage and the benefit of cost efficiency initiatives.

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