Vodafone reorg puts European business under Philipp Humm

Vodafone announced it will combine its European businesses under the direction of Philipp Humm, who joined the carrier just a year ago from Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile US unit. The move is seen as an attempt to more efficiently sell wireless, cable and TV services across the continent, a region that has battered Vodafone's finances in recent years.


Starting Oct. 1, Vodafone said it will merge its Northern and Central Europe and Southern Europe regions into one Europe region under Humm. Separately, the operator said it will merge its Turkish business into its Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific division. Vodafone the world's second largest wireless carrier by revenue, after China Mobile.

Further, Vodafone said it will combine its Brand, Consumer, Unified Communications, Terminals, Customer Operations, Partner Markets and Group Enterprise businesses into one unit under Paolo Bertoluzzo, who is currently the regional CEO of Southern Europe.

"These organisational changes will allow us to improve the customer experience and develop our commercial strategy more quickly and consistently," Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said in a statement. "I congratulate Paolo and Philipp on their new roles."

Vodafone's reorganization is an effort by the operator to better respond to the dramatic changes in the European marketplace, which generates fully three-quarters of the company's revenue. Vodafone last year was forced to write down £5.9 billion ($9 billion) on the value of its European business, largely due to the economic slowdown in the region that is bedeviling many operators.

Moreover, Humm will be tasked with more effectively combining Vodafone's various telecommunications assets. Long a leader in the wireless space, Vodafone is working to incorporate service bundles into its wireless play--a strategy most recently highlighted by its €7.7 billion ($10.2 billion) acquisition of German cable company Kabel Deutschland. The Kabel Deutschland purchase will help fulfill Vodafone's ambitions to be able to offer "quad-play" packages of fixed voice, broadband and TV services together with mobile services in Germany in order to better compete with rivals in the market.

Now, through the reorganization, Vodafone could more effectively bundle telecom services throughout Europe.

For more:
- see this Vodafone release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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