Vodafone CEO Nick Read to step down this month

5 Dec 2022

Nick Read speaking at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in 2020. Image: Graham Carlow (CC by 2.0)

Vodafone veteran Read has held multiple leadership positions within the company over the past two decades and has been group CEO since 2018.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read is stepping down from his role and as a company director at the end of the month.

The company’s CFO, Margherita Della Valle, has been appointed as interim CEO while Vodafone has initiated a process to find a new group CEO.

Read has been with Vodafone for more than 20 years. He became CFO of Vodafone UK in 2002 and went on to hold a number of leadership positions within the company, including CEO of its Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific operations between 2008 and 2014.

He became Vodafone Group CFO and board director in 2014. He then took on the role of CEO in 2018, replacing Vittorio Colao who stepped down after leading the telecoms giant for 10 years.

After Read steps down as CEO, he will be available as an adviser to the board until the end of April 2023.

“It has been a privilege to spend over 20 years of my career at Vodafone and I am proud of what we have delivered for customers and society across Europe and Africa,” Read said.

“I agreed with the board that now is the right moment to hand over to a new leader who can build on Vodafone’s strengths and capture the significant opportunities ahead”.

Vodafone chair Jean-François van Boxmeer thanked Read for his “commitment and significant contribution to Vodafone” over the past two decades.

“During his four years as CEO, he led Vodafone through the pandemic, ensuring that our customers remained connected with their families and businesses,” van Boxmeer said. “He has focused Vodafone in Europe and Africa as a converged connectivity provider and led the industry in Europe in unlocking value from tower infrastructure.”

The change in leadership comes following a period in which the company’s share price has fallen sharply.

In her interim role, Della Valle has been tasked with accelerating the execution of the company’s strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value. She will also continue to be Vodafone’s CFO during this period.

“Margherita has recently been taking a broader operational role within the company and the board fully supports her as interim group chief executive,” van Boxmeer said.

There have also been leadership changes at Vodafone Ireland recently, with Amanda Nelson being appointed chief executive following the departure of Anne O’Leary.

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Nick Read speaking at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in 2020. Image: Graham Carlow via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic