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Colao says ciao to Vodafone after a decade in the hotseat

15 May 2018

"(Colao) 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", Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said.

The FTSE blue-chip benchmark was broadly flat by 0840 GMT while Vodafone shares, index heavyweights, were the worst performer with a 2.5 percent fall.

Its customer base has also doubled from 269 million to 536 million across 25 countries. With CFO Nick Read (4 years in the position) slated to replace Vittorio Colao at the helm, investors looked to be erring on the side of caution about the group's direction under new leadership.

Mr Colao was appointed group chief executive in July 2008.

CYBG banking group, which has tendered an £1.6 billion offer for Virgin Money earlier this week, reported a loss of £76 million for the financial first half because of a previously-announced £350 million charge for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

Having joined Vodafone in 2001 he has held a number of roles including sitting on the boards of the company's listed operations in Africa and Qatar, its subsidiaries in India and Egypt and its joint venture in Australia.

Gerard Kleisterlee, chairman, said Mr Read had been the "co-architect of the group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive worldwide operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen".

"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.

Commenting on the results, Colao said: "This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance".

"Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum", he added.

Last week Vodafone struck a long-expected $21.8 billion deal to buy Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and Eastern Europe, the latest move to strengthen its European business. "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".

Colao says ciao to Vodafone after a decade in the hotseat