Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao stands down after 10 years at helm

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Vittorio Colao on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Image: Sergio Uceda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Vittorio Colao steps down after leading Vodafone’s transition from 2G to the 5G, IoT and fibre future.

The CEO of Vodafone, Vittorio Colao, is to leave the mobile giant after a decade that saw it transform from mobile to include fibre.

The company’s chief financial officer, Nick Read, will succeed Colao as CEO of Vodafone.

‘He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications’
– GERARD KLEISTERLEE

Colao became CEO of Vodafone in 2008 and presided over a transformation from a consumer 2G and 3G player into a converged telecoms giant with a broad telecoms portfolio, including a scope on fibre and the internet of things (IoT) via NB-IoT.

In that time, the company has grown its subscribers from 269m to 536m customers, including 19.7m broadband customers.

Just last week, Colao presided over Vodafone’s agreement to pay $21.8bn (€18.4bn) to buy Liberty Global’s assets in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

The move will strengthen Vodafone’s hand in the growing market for superfast broadband and will add 54m homes in Europe to the company’s cable and fibre network.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure,” Gerard Kleisterlee, the chair of Vodafone, said.

“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.

“Vittorio will leave as his legacy a company of great integrity with strong inclusive values that is exceptionally well positioned for the decade ahead.”

Vittorio Colao on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Image: Sergio Uceda/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com