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Read Dials Out At Vodafone

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Read dials out at Vodafone

Farewell to Nick Read, out today as CEO of Vodafone after just four years.

The statement says Read “has agreed with the board” that he will go after Christmas, but that isn’t fooling anyone, nor is it particularly designed to.

The reasons for Read’s departure come right at the top. His successor “will accelerate the execution of the Company’s strategy to improve operational performance and deliver shareholder value”.

Ouch. A quick Google tells you that Voda shares are down 60% in the last five years, and are well behind the market. This £25 billion company, remember, was once valued at £200 billion.

Fairly plainly, the board think Read wasn’t moving fast enough.

He will get a substantial pay-off for the inconvenience of his contract being ended. Fair enough.

Surely this approach, from a PR point of view, is way better than the one which insists no top executive ever gets fired for underperformance.

They always depart by mutual consent. And with regret. (And a wheelbarrow of cash).

Read looks more honourable for allowing the truth, more or less, to appear in the RNS.

And for the PRs, the next time they insist their client wasn’t actually fired, well, we might even believe them.

 

Press release of the day

A different take on the retirement problem here from M&G.

The issue isn’t (just) the money, it is that two in five of us worry they will be bored and lonely.

Quite a few think retirement will lead to divorce. A cheery thought.

Sounds like good reason to keep working…

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Is Ashtead insulated from a UK recession thanks to its American arm, or not?

2) Can SSP recover from Covid decimation?

3) How many workers are “unsackable”?

4) Is Australia ready to stop increasing rates?

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