Vodafone CEO to step down after 10 years

Vittorio Colao is stepping down from Vodafone

Vittorio Colao is stepping down from Vodafone

It had reported an operating loss of around ₹30,690 crore for 2016-17 on account of the United Kingdom -based Vodafone Group lowering the valuation of its Indian business by taking gross impairment charge of €4.5 billion.

The operator giant announced it expects its Indian arm to merge with rival Idea Cellular, by June.

Colao's legacy includes pulling the company out of the U.S. by abandoning a joint venture with American telecoms giant Verizon and striking a $22 billion deal with the world's biggest worldwide TV and broadband company, Liberty Global.

The announcement comes on the same day Vodafone released its financial results for the year, showing a €2.8bn profit, up from a €6bn loss in 2017.

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"Intense competition in India is a euphemism, in that there was an 86% decline in data prices year-on-year, while voice prices fell 40% on-year too".

The 56-year-old Italian said that the time was right to move on with most of the "reshaping" of Vodafone now complete following the recent spate of deals. It has about 444 million customers, ...

"The chapter Vodafone is starting to write is completely different", he said.

Vittorio Colao, the current CEO of Vodafone Group Plc, will be leaving the role behind come October 1, 2018.

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Colao indicated that the price war had been bruising for Vodafone.

After 10 years of stability under Colao, Vodafone is potentially setting sail into uncharted waters under the guidance of an executive that has been with the company only 4 years and has less top level experience than the markets would have been fully comfortable with. The combined company will be jointly controlled by Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group.

The results for FY18 "comprises a non-cash charge of 3,170 million euros (2,245 million euros net of tax) to reduce the carrying value of Vodafone India to fair value less costs to sell", Vodafone Group said.

Vodafone claims 92 per cent of all data sessions are now at least 3Mbps and hopes IoT and zero rating add-ons will offset any decline in traditional revenue caused by the popularity of SIM-Only and Multi-SIM deals. "Vodafone India has been classified as discontinued operations for Group reporting purposes", Vodafone said. Airtel's ARPU in the quarter was Rs 116, Idea's was Rs 105, lagging behind Jio's Rs 137.1.

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The reduction in mobile termination rates added to the woes of the company.

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