Vodafone CEO Colao denies claims it will leave UK after Brexit

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Claims are “completely groundless” after operator had said it would be evaluating its situation

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao has denied rumours the operator will move its headquarters from the UK to mainland Europe following Brexit.

Reports last year claimed the business hinted at a departure to mainland Europe once the UK leaves the European Union in 2019. The speculation concerned its Group headquarters in Paddington, which was relocated in 2009 from Newbury, where it still has a base.

Groundless

The operator currently has 462 million customers and 109,000 employees worldwide. More than 19.5 million subscribers and 13,000 employees are UK-based. At the time Brexit was announced, a Vodafone spokesperson said the network would be evaluating its situation in the UK.

Denying the claims at the release of its financials on May 16, Colao said: “These are completely groundless. We never had any intention or plan of moving in that direction. We never have any reason to do it and it was an interpretation of a hypothetical question just taken out of context.”

Back in business

Vodafone was fined £4.6 million by Ofcom in October last year following problems migrating 28.5 million customer accounts from seven billing platforms to one. It led to various high-profile cases of customers being charged incorrectly and placed on the wrong tariffs.

At the end of last year, the operator admitted it had missed Q3 targets for resolving the issues, but Colao claimed they had now been resolved.

“We are clearly not number one in the UK. We had a lot of problems in the past. We now have a good network in London and repaired the IT billing mistakes which were a problem nine months ago. These issues cost us and slowed down the company, but we are back now.”

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