Business Watch – Vodafone reshuffle, Nokia slashes share forecast


Fresh from his summer holidays, Vittorio Colao has delivered his “things are gonna be different around here from now on” message to Vodafone staff.

Barely six weeks into the job, the new chief executive last week unveiled the biggest Newbury management shake-up for some years.

His plans alter the blueprint laid down by predecessor Arun Sarin and bring an injection of much-needed fresh blood to the company’s highest echelons.

The first part of the rejig is fairly straightforward. Colao needed to fill his previous position as head of Western Europe – which generates 75 per cent of Vodafone’s sales.

He has opted for an outsider – Michel Combes, a 46-year-old former senior finance executive at rival France Telecom, parent company of Orange. Combes takes up his new role on October 1.

Anyone who has watched Orange’s fortunes in recent years will not be surprised to hear Combes brings considerable cost-cutting experience.

He was at France Telecom during the 2005 transformation programme that saw the group slash its debt levels and increase dividends, as well as new products for punters – three things that will no doubt have appealed to Colao.

Full article further examines likely Vodafone cost cutting and emerging markets strategy, as well as adjusted Nokia forecasts and the Korean charge from Samsung and LG.

See Mobile News issue 423 (September 22, 2008).

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