Vodafone has named group chief financial officer Nick Read as the successor to outgoing chief executive Vittorio Colao who will leave the post with effect from 1 October. As a result, Read will be named as group chief-executive designate at the telecoms giant’s annual general meeting on 27 July - presaging a period of transition at the top.
Read attained his present post in 2014 following a successful spell at the group’s emerging markets division spanning Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Prior to his career at Vodafone Read held senior finance positions with United Business Media and Federal Express.
Colao has been in the hot seat since 2008, overseeing a period of transformation which has seen the business reorient itself from a consumer focussed mobile operator into a communications empire operating the largest mobile and fixed-generation network in Europe.
Read will himself be replaced by deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle.
Vodafone group chairman Gerard Kleisterlee remarked: "Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive international operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen. I am confident Vodafone will benefit greatly from his experience, insight and wisdom in his new role as group chief executive.
“Margherita has a strong track record in financial leadership at the highest levels, and I am delighted to welcome her to the board. I would also add that the appointment of Nick and Margherita serves as a testament to the strength and depth of the Vodafone senior leadership team that Vittorio has assembled and led over the last decade."
Over a decade at the helm Colao has seen Vodafone grow its mobile customer base from 269m to 536m across 25 countries with a further 19.7m broadband customers -capped by last week's €18.4bn takeover of Liberty Global.