Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone, will step down after four years

Vodafone CEO Nick Read to step down after four years

 LONDON: By the end of the year, Nick Read will step down as CEO of Vodafone and be succeeded by his finance director on an interim basis. During his four years in charge, the company's share price nearly halved.

Read led the company through the pandemic, sold assets to increase its focus on Europe and Africa, and spun off its towers infrastructure business into a separate unit as he led the company through the pandemic.

Vodafone's shares have remained stagnant despite the changes. They are trading at the same level as they were two decades ago, down more than 40% since Read took over in October 2018. Vodafone recently reduced its outlook for the entire year, citing rising energy costs and declining performance in its major European markets of Germany, Italy, and Spain.

He released a statement in which he stated, "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."

In early trade, the company's shares were up 1.6%.

Margherita Della Valle will take Read's place temporarily and is tasked with speeding up "the execution of the company's strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value."

According to the company, a search for a new CEO has begun by the board.

"The next question is, what options actually exist for the subsequent CEO? Vodafone faces unstoppable obstacles. We figure profit strategy ought to be treated as under audit," Jefferies investigators composed.

Read has advocated for Vodafone's major European markets of Britain, Spain, Italy, and Portugal to consolidate, but he has struggled to put his words into action.

He turned down Iliad and Apax Partners' offer of more than $11.15 billion to acquire its Italian business in February. In July, two of its Spanish rivals, Orange and MasMovil, agreed to merge for $19 billion.

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