Vodafone Merges European Divisions Into One Super-Region


Vodafone combines struggling European units into one business unit to be headed by Philipp Humm

Vodafone is to merge its northern, central and southern European operations into a single business unit as part of an organisational restructure at the British-based mobile operator, just a year after it divided them.

The new Vodafone Europe region will be headed by Philipp Humm, who joined the company last year from T-Mobile USA to become CEO of the newly-created Vodafone Northern & Central Europe.

The new division will not include Turkey however, which has joined the Asia, Middle East and Asia-Pacific region, due to the country’s market characteristics.

Vodafone European restructure


As part of the reshuffle, current Southern European CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo has been named group chief commercial and operations officer of an expanded group commercial function.

Vodafone claims the restructure will help it implement its consumer and enterprise plans more quickly and consistently, accelerate growth in unified communications and achieve greater efficiencies of scale.

“These organisational changes will allow us to improve the customer experience and develop our commercial strategy more quickly and consistently,” said Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao. “I congratulate Paolo and Philipp on their new roles.”

Service revenues at the company have fallen by 3.5 percent to £10.155 billion over the last year, with ongoing economic and regulatory difficulties in Southern Europe in particular being blamed for the drop. However, markets such as the UK and Germany, previously believed to be immune from the continent’s challenges, have also experienced some downturn.

US future

Emerging markets such as Turkey have been a source of growth for Vodafone, while the company’s US joint-venture Verizon Wireless recently posted a 7.2 percent increase in revenue, highlighting its growing importance amid the speculation about its future.

Vodafone’s ongoing problems in Europe meant it opted to retain £4.5 billion in dividends from Verizon Wireless earlier this year, although a potential sale of its stake in the joint venture has been touted.

Partner Verizon Wireless has made no secret of its desire to assume full control and has reportedly been readying a £65 million bid for the business. However, the operator’s continued success is unlikely to dissuade Vodafone investors who believe that such a bid is nowhere near enough for its share.

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