Vodafone restructures; minority stakes bundled into single group

Vodafone has streamlined its organisation amid moves to divest some of its minority stakes in operators in Europe, India and the US. This reshaping of the company's reporting lines comes only two years after CEO Vittorio Colao last shook up its structure.

Of most note is the placing of all the minority stakes into their own organisation where they will be managed separately from wholly owned subsidiaries. This new group, which includes Vodafone's holdings in Verizon Wireless, France's SFR, Poland's Polkomtel, Bharti Holding and other companies, will be managed by Vittorio Colao, group CFO Andy Halford and group strategy and business development director Warren Finegold.

Without specifically stating what might happen to these minority shareholdings, the company said that the three execs will put in place strategies to maximise shareholder value from these investments.

Last week Vodafone sold its 3.2 per cent holding in China Mobile for £4.3 billion as part of its new strategy to remove itself from being minority shareholders.

Elsewhere, the company has reduced its regional structure from three to two - Europe and non-Europe.

Michel Combes will continue as CEO of the expanded European structure that now includes central and eastern Europe, while Nick Read, head of the former Asia-Pacific unit, will take charge of the non-European division.

Commenting on the announcement, a Vodafone spokesperson said: "The aim of the change is three-fold. It will simplify the organisation; enhance our focus on key commercial and financial priorities; and increase the speed in which we can bring new services to market and respond to industry changes."

"All major organisations go through this kind of review once in a while and it will help us deliver on our strategic goals."

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