Nick Read will step down from his position as the CEO of Vodafone Group on the 31st of December, four years after his appointment, the company has announced in a statement.
Read was at the helm of affairs, notably during the pandemic when he concentrated on Europe and Africa and has watched the British telecoms giants suffer losses in its biggest market Germany, as well as other nations in Europe.
The announcement comes with little surprise as the company’s shares have fallen more than 40% since he took control in October 2018, trading at almost the same level since his four years of leadership.
However, following the company’s decision, Nick Read will be replaced on an interim basis by Finance Chief Margherita Della Valle. Vodafone’s board was unhappy with Read’s lack of progress in delivering growth.
Della Valle has now been assigned with accelerating “the execution of the company’s strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value”.
“Speaking on his exit and the decision of the Vodafone Group, Nick Read said,
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.
According to reports, the company’s share price has decreased since 2018 until the present. This happened throughout Nick Read’s four-year employment. The shares haven’t dropped this low since 1997, when they last did.
So, who is Nick Read, the outgoing CEO of Vodafone?
Nick Read has 20 years of experience working in the telecom sector. He graduated from The Manchester Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Finance.
His professional career began in the 1990s. He was appointed Vice President of Global Corporate and Strategic Financial Planning toward the end of his employment in 1989 when he served as director of FP&A for the UK and Ireland region.
In 2001, he was appointed CFO of Vizzavi Europe Ltd. In 2002, he started working for Vodafone as the CFO UK region. After six years in that position, he was appointed the CEO of Africa, the Middle-East, and the Asia-Pacific region. In the same year, he was given a promotion to Group CFO.
In 2018, he was appointed Group CEO and having spent four years in the position, Nick Read’s tenure at Vodafone is gradually ending.
Vodafone said Read’s departure was a mutual decision between the board and the chief executive and that it would initiate a search for his successor among internal and external candidates. The board hopes Read’s replacement will speed up the execution of the company’s existing strategy.
Margherita Della Valle. will take over as acting CEO but would continue in her role as the CFO for the time being.
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