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Vodafone CEO to step down after 10 years

Vodafone CEO to step down after 10 years

Colao will be replaced by Nick Read, finance director since 2014 and long seen as his successor due to his previous roles running Vodafone's operations around the world.

At the company's annual general meeting in July, deputy chief financial officer Marghertia Della Valle will take over as chief financial officer, with Read becoming group chief executive-designate.

Colao will be replaced by Vodafone's finance director since 2014, Nick Read whose wealth of global experience made him a likely candidate for the position.

Vodafone now has 16.1 million broadband customers, of which 9.9 million are fibre or cable, while it also has 9.9 million TV customers.

Read, who was appointed to his current post four years ago, previously ran Vodafone's Africa, Middle East and Pacific region.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of Vodafone but government made amendment in tax regime same year and served notice to the British firm again.

Announcing Colao's departure, Vodafone said that during his decade at the helm, group-wide mobile phone customers had doubled to 536 million across 25 countries. Prior to joining Vodafone, Read held senior finance positions with United Business Media and Federal Express Worldwide.

Vodafone Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee thanked Colao, describing him as "a strategic visionary".

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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.

This has led to a mixed full year to 31 March 2018 operating performance, although one that looks pretty decent overall.

"We expect to sustain our profit growth in the year ahead, despite the arrival of a new entrant in Italy and competitive pressure in Spain, supported by the third year in a row of lower net operating costs", said CEO Colao. In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant co-controlling stake in India's largest listed tower company.

"Now is the right time to begin the transition", Colao said on a call with reporters.

This includes last week's deal with Liberty Global for Vodafone to acquire cable networks in Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.

Vodafone's results showed underlying earnings - the company's preferred profit measure - rose 12 per cent on an organic basis to €14.7 billion, ahead of the company's guidance of 10 per cent organic growth.

"I think now is the time to really focus on our organic plan, really focusing on digital transformation of our business and the customer experience", he told reporters.