Vittorio Colao will step down as the chief executive of Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile carrier, in October.
The company’s chief financial officer, Nick Read, who has spent 12 years working alongside Mr Colao, is to take over the position.
The announcement of this decision came while Vodafone reported an annual profit of €2.8bn, compared with a loss of €6.1bn the previous year when it wrote down the value of its Indian business. Vodafone shares dropped as much as 4.8% after the announcement and were down 2.9% to 201.1p as of 11.31am on May 15 in London. It also comes only days after Vodafone confirmed an €18bn takeover of Liberty Global’s German and eastern European cable companies.
According to Gerard Kleisterlee, chairman of Vodafone, Mr Colao’s tenure had been “outstanding”. He called him an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who had overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications.
Mr Colao himself said that it was a “real privilege” to lead Vodafone, that he will continue working flat out until his departure in October and that he has nothing in particular planned after that.
By Daniëlle Kruger
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