9/9/2008 11:42:00 AM
Combes in top Vodafone Euro role
Vodafone appointed a new Europe CEO this week following the promotion of the former incumbent, Vittorio Collao, into the top position in the organisation after the departure of Arun Sarin in May this year.
Michael Combes takes the Europe job, arriving from a French private equity funded telecoms firm called TDF where he was chairman and CEO. The firm specialises in radio and television transmission but has other telecoms and content businesses.
He will report into Collao, who praised Combes’ ‘impressive telecoms and entrepreneurial background’.
Combes will have the task of growing Vodafone’s European businesses, many of which have struggled over the last year under tough competition and regulation. Germany, Spain and the UK are Vodafone’s key European markets.
Vodafone has already centralised many of the country functions in Europe such as handset buying and supply chain, and is known to be looking at other areas such as online activities.
Vodafone also split its rapidly growing emerging market business into one group covering central Europe and Africa, and a separate entity focussing on the Asia-Pacific region.
The company has been embroiled in growing its footprint in Africa in recent months, and is expected to make further acquisitions in emerging markets in the coming months.
Collao is taking personal responsibility for the company’s troubled American interest, Verizon Wireless, removing it from all of its division. The senior group team headed by Collao will take charge of Verizon.