Light Reading
Mobile operator's executive carousel spins into action again as its Innovation unit closes its doors

Vodafone Upheaval Continues

Ray Le Maistre
10/16/2006
50%
50%

The executive name-plate changer at Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) must be working overtime these days as the global wireless carrier seems intent on changing its top team more often than teenagers replace their handsets.

The latest big name packing his personal items into a cardboard box is Thomas Geitner, the former Vodafone CTO who became head of the carrier's New Businesses and Innovation Unit on May 1, with responsibility for the Mobile Plus strategy. (See Vodafone Shuffles the Deck.)

The aim of the unit was to "focus on converged and IP services in order to deliver new revenue streams as Vodafone seeks to provide innovative services to its customers," a critical area of development for any large mobile operator.

But Geitner is leaving at the end of 2006, and will not be replaced. In addition, the Innovation Unit is being scrapped, with its activities, including those related to the carrier's entry into fixed broadband, devolved into "parts of the organization closer to the customer," says Vodafone. (See Vodafone's Board Changes.)

Vodafone says this move will simplify its business. The Innovation unit was one of only three principal business units, so now it has just two: "Europe" for the carrier's business in Western Europe, and "EMAPA" (Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and affiliates), which manages all other territories, including emerging markets. (See Vodafone Unveils New Strategy.)

The shakeup doesn't appear to be the result of disappointment with the Mobile Plus strategy. Following a recent briefing about Vodafone's business in Italy and Spain, analysts were positive about the impact of Mobile Plus, and about Vodafone's prospects in general. The team at Lehman Brothers stated in a recent research note that Vodafone has "made good progress with its Mobile Plus strategy over the last few months" by launching new services for retail and enterprise users, including wireless and fixed broadband. (See Vodafone Uses Ericsson HSDPA, Vodafone UK Offers DSL, and Vodafone Italy Uses Lucent.)

And the swift decision to close the unit makes sense, reckons Ovum Ltd. analyst John Delaney. "We think that closing the Innovations division is the right move. It always felt a bit odd," he writes in a research note, adding that focus areas such as fixed/mobile convergence and mobile advertising "vary so much by country that working on them at a centralized, global level seems like the wrong approach."

The Mobile Plus strategy is now the responsibility of the Europe unit, headed by Vittorio Colao (we'll come back to him in a minute), while the development of "new business opportunities and key partnerships" will be the responsibility of a "Group Strategy and New Business" function that is the responsibility of Alan Harper. That makes sense, as Harper is already Vodafone's director for Group Strategy and Business Integration.

Geitner's departure isn't the only change in Vodafone's personnel roster in the past year, a period that has seen the carrier's share price slip more than 11 percent on the London Stock Exchange to 130 pence today.

And the revamp hasn't been restricted to the carrier's staff list. The mobile giant -- 2005 revenues of £29.4 billion (US$54.6 billion) and 187 million customers (US187 million) as of June 2006 -- has undergone a dramatic overhaul of its global portfolio, service offerings, and partnerships in the past year. (See Vodafone Posts Results.)

To Page 2

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for ...
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
The New Internet Space Race: Google's Final Frontier?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive