Vodafone, which owns South African mobile group Vodacom, made the surprise announcement as it reported earnings and predicted potentially slower growth ahead on competitive pressures in Italy and Spain, causing the stock to drop the most since February.
Telecommunication giant Vodafone's CEO Vittorio Colao stepped down from his position on Tuesday.
After 10 years of stability under Colao, Vodafone is potentially setting sail into uncharted waters under the guidance of an executive that has been with the company only 4 years and has less top level experience than the markets would have been fully comfortable with. At the date of the Group's Annual General Meeting on July 27th 2018, Deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will succeed Read as Group Chief Financial Officer and will join the Board, and Read will become Group Chief Executive-Designate.
Read was appointed the group's CFO and joined the Vodafone Group Plc Board in April 2014. Read joined Vodafone in 2001 as Vodafone UK Finance Director before being appointed Vodafone UK Chief Commercial Officer then Vodafone UK Chief Executive.
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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", Kleisterlee said. Vodafone said the appointments followed an internal and external search for candidates.
Total revenue fell 2.2% €46.6bn, reflecting foreign exchange headwinds and the negative impact from the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the VodafoneZiggo joint venture with Liberty Global. It also comes ahead of the merger of its struggling Indian business with Idea Cellular, a deal that is expected to close in June. "As a result, underlying EBITDA grew 7.9 per cent".
Proceeds from the Verizon sale allowed Colao to make investments in Vodafone's European network, adding cable and fibre assets and modernising mobile businesses so the carrier could offer bundled services in the bulk of its markets.