Donovan out in Vodafone restructure


Vodafone Group has appointed Michel Combes (pictured) as Europe Region chief executive and split its old EMAPA Region into two units.

Vodafone EMAPA chief Paul Donovan has decided to leave Vodafone at the end of this year.

He joined Vodafone in 1999 as commercial managing director, and was appointed chief executive of Vodafone Ireland in 2001. In January 2005 he was appointed chief executive officer of ‘other Vodafone subsidiaries’.

He also previously held senior roles at BT, One2One and Optus Communications.

Vodafone group chief executive Vittoria Colao said: "I want to extend my thanks and appreciation for all that Paul has done for our business and in particular his role in expanding our emerging markets portfolio. We wish him well in the future."

Michel Combes takes responsibility for all markets currently part of the Europe Region, together with global marketing and global technology and Vodafone business services. He will also join Vodafone’s executive committee. He starts October 1.

Combes has spent the past two years as chairman and chief of TDF Group, the private equity backed French operator of shared facilities and terrestrial networks in Europe.

He previously spent a number of years with France Telecom in senior management positions, progressing from its external networks division to become senior executive vice president in charge of ‘NExT Financial Balance & Value Creation’ and a member of France Telecom’s strategic committee.

Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: "I am pleased that we have recruited someone of Michel’s talents and expertise. I am confident that he will bring significant experience to Vodafone, given his impressive telecoms and entrepreneurial background."

Meanwhile, Vodafone has split its EMAPA business into a Central Europe/Africa Region and an Asia-Pacific Region from January1, 2009.

It will appoint two new regional chief executives, who will also join its executive committee, in due course.

Vodafone said its investment in US operator Verizon Wireless will not be part of any operating region and be managed directly at a senior level by Vittorio Colao, Andy Halford and Terry Kramer.

Kramer becomes Group strategy and business improvement director, responsible for strategy development, for the initiatives aimed at productivity and efficiency gains across the Group and, the governance and coordination of the relationship with Verizon Wireless. 

He will also continue in his current role as Group HR director whilst the company conducts a search for his successor.