Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao is stepping down after 10 years

World’s second-largest mobile carrier Vodafone Group plc has announced that its CEO Vittorio Colao will step down from the chief executive position he has held for 10 years in October 2018.

Assuming the position in Colao’s stead will be the chief financial officer Nick Read, who worked alongside the former CEO for 12 years. According to Gerard Kleisterlee, chairman of Vodafone, Mr Colao’s tenure had been “outstanding” as Calao had been exemplary leader and strategic visionary who had overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications.

On Wednesday, the British multinational telecommunications reported an annual profit of €2.8bn this fiscal year, compared with a loss of €6.1bn the previous year when it wrote down the value of its Indian business. The fifth ranking global telecommunications company by revenue witnessed a 4.8 percent shares dropped after the announcement and were down 2.9 percent to 201.1 point as at 15th.

Early this week, Vodafone confirmed an €18bn takeover of Liberty Global’s German and eastern European cable companies. Vodafone owns and operates networks in 26 countries and has partner networks in over 50 additional countries. In 2017, the company planned to consolidate some of its operations in sub-Saharan Africa into a single entity as part of its “single, coordinated Africa strategy”.

The conglomerate owns 65 percent of Vodacom, which has operations in Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Vodafone’s other African assets are in Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya, last-mentioned through a 40 percent stake in Safaricom.

Who is Vittorio Colao?

Vittorio Amedeo Colao, 56,  is an Italian business man born on 3 October 1961. Colao’s career kicked off at investment bank Morgan Stanley in London and by 1986, he joined the Milan office of McKinsey & Co where as a Partner he worked on media, telecommunications and industrial goods sectors and was responsible for office recruitment.

After missing out on the CEO’s job, taken by his friend Arun Sarin, and following the block of his purchase of a Bulgarian mobile company, he left Vodafone for Italian publishing company RCS MediaGroup, where he became CEO in July 2004. By July 2008, Caloa succeeded Arun Sarin. In 2015, Caloa was also appointed as a non-executive director of Unilever.