Vodafone Group's CEO Paul Donovan prepares to step down

Vodafone Group's Paul Donovan, CEO EMAPA region, is to leave the company at the end of this year. He will continue in his current position until 1 January 2009.

Commenting on his departure Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, said: "I want to extend my thanks and appreciation for all that Paul has done for our business and in particular his role in expanding our emerging markets portfolio. We wish him well in the future."

This news comes as Vodafone Group announces a number of changes to its organisational structure with new senior management appointments. With effect from 1st October Michel Combes will join Vodafone as CEO, Europe Region. In this role he will be responsible for all markets currently part of the Europe Region, together with Global Marketing and Global Technology and Vodafone Business Services. He will also join the Executive Committee.

For the last two years Combes has been Chairman and CEO of TDF Group, the private equity backed French operator of shared facilities and terrestrial networks in Europe. He previously spent a number of years with France Telecom in senior management positions.

Having begun his career in the External Networks division, he ultimately became Senior Executive Vice President, in charge of NExT Financial Balance & Value Creation and member of the France Telecom Group Strategic Committee. Throughout his career he has been involved in transformational projects combining both growth and operational efficiency improvements.

Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, said: "I am pleased that we have recruited someone of Michel's talents and expertise. I am confident that he will bring significant experience to Vodafone, given his impressive telecoms and entrepreneurial background."


Vodafone Group also revealed that the EMAPA region will be reorganised into two regions with effect from 1 January 2009: Central Europe/Africa Region and Asia-Pacific Region. The two regional CEOs will join the Executive Committee and these appointments will be announced in due course.

In addition, Vodafone's investment in Verizon Wireless will not be part of any operating region and in light of its financial and strategic importance will be managed directly at a senior level by Vittorio Colao, Andy Halford and Terry Kramer.

With immediate effect Terry Kramer will become the Group Strategy and Business Improvement Director. In this role he will be responsible for strategy development, for the initiatives aimed at productivity and efficiency gains across the Group and, the governance and coordination of the relationship with Verizon Wireless. Terry Kramer will also continue in his current role as Group HR Director whilst the company conducts a search for his successor in the role.