Vodafone ousts CWW chief executive, overhauls management

Vodafone Group, whose acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) was recently given European approval, has ousted the company's former chief executive Gavin Darby and replaced him with Nick Jeffery – previously chief executive of Vodafone Global Enterprise.

Jeffery will take the reins at CWW with immediate effect and will work with Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence to oversee the integration of CWW's commercial and back-office operations. He will also join the leadership teams of both Vodafone UK and Vodafone Group's Northern and Central Europe region.

“Nick is an excellent leader with a deep understanding of enterprise customers' needs, a track record in value creation and familiarity with CWW's business,” said Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao.

The outgoing CEO, Gavin Darby, was formerly a director of Vodafone but left the company in 2010 after a difference of opinion with Colao. He will now receive a basic pay-off of a year’s salary, and is reportedly in negotiations about how many of the four million shares that he was entitled to will be paid out by Vodafone at its 38p offer price.

Darby will work with Nick Jeffery to ensure a smooth transition before leaving the business at the end of October, as will CWW chief financial officer Ian Gibson, acting chief technology officer (CTO) Dave Broady and acting HR director Jane Little.

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Gibson, Broady and Little will be replaced by Vodafone Turkey chief financial officer Diego Galli, Vodafone Group network services unit director John Thompson, and Vodafone Netherlands HR director Francesco Bianco.

Mark Allison – who currently leads the Vodafone Global Enterprise Commercial team – has also been appointed as integration director.

Meanwhile, Jeffery's former role as chief executive of Vodafone Global Enterprise will be taken on by the enterprise business unit director of Vodafone Germany, Jan Geldmacher, who is a former chief executive of BT Germany.

“With his strong background in multinational client leadership, Jan will be well-placed to succeed Nick as CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprise,” said Colao.

Vodafone announced its intention to buy CWW for £1.04 billion in April this year. The deal will give Vodafone a comprehensive fixed network in the UK and across Europe, allowing the company to sell bundled fixed and mobile services, which is key to its objectives of becoming a ‘total telecommunications’ player and ramping up its enterprise business.