Business

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao Steps Down, CFO Nick Read Promoted

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| May 15 , 2018 , 14:52 IST

Telecommunication giant Vodafone’s CEO Vittorio Colao stepped down from his position on Tuesday. He led the company for more than a decade.

Chief financial officer Nick Read, 53, has been promoted to the top job, having been groomed as the preferred internal candidate. He joined Vodafone in 2001 and, before becoming CFO in 2014, headed the UK business and was responsible for Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  He has been with the company for more than 12 years.

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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. It also comes ahead of the merger of its struggling Indian business with Idea Cellular, a deal that is expected to close in June.

The 56-year-old Italian said that the time was right to move on with most of the “reshaping” of Vodafone now complete following the recent spate of deals. 

“The chapter Vodafone is starting to write is completely different,” he said. “After India, after Liberty, this is a new story that will take five years to be written.”

Gerard Kleisterlee, chairman of Vodafone, said Colao’s tenure had been “outstanding”.

“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.