Vodafone CEO Nick Read will step down from his role by the end of the year and will be replaced by his finance director on an interim basis. Read’s exit will bring to an end his four-year tenure.
Finance director Margherita Della Valle will replace the CEO on an interim basis. She has been tasked with accelerating "the execution of the company’s strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value".
The company stated that the Vodafone board has begun a process to find a new chief executive.
During the pandemic, it was Read who steered the company. Vodafone also shifted its focus on Europe and Africa, and sold off its assets in order to do so. The company’s tower infrastructure business was also spun into a separate unit.
However, all the changes Read brought about could not change the fortunes of the company as its shares slumped over 40 per cent since he took over in October 2018.
Last month Vodafone cut its full-year outlook, citing high energy costs and deteriorating performance in Germany, Italy and Spain.
"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," he said in a statement.
Shares in the company were up 1.6 per cent in early trade.
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