Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao is calling it quits and stepping down in October.
The veteran leader, who took the reins back in July 2008, will be replaced by his CFO Nick Read.
Vodafone said it had “conducted a succession planning process that involved the detailed assessment of potential internal and external candidates”.
It credited Colao, who first joined Vodafone as CEO for South Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2000, with transforming the business from “a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world’s leading converged communications companies”.
During his tenure, Vodafone’s mobile customer base has almost doubled from 269 million to 536 million in over 25 countries.
Its more recent focus on broadband has seen it acquire 19.7 million such subscribers.
Vodafone’s share price has grown from £1.75 to £2.10.
The news came as the operator revealed a profitable set of financial results for the 12 months to 31 March.
After registering a net loss of €6.1 billion last year, Vodafone made a profit of €2.9 billion this time around on revenues that dipped 2.2 percent to €46.6 billion.
Profitability in both years was impacted by the changing value of the company’s opco in India where Reliance Jio has shaken up the market.
Vodafone said its ongoing attempts to merge with Idea Cellular in the country were set to go ahead imminently.
Vodafone Group Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure.
“He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future.
“Vittorio will leave as his legacy a company of great integrity with strong inclusive values that is exceptionally well-positioned for the decade ahead.”
Kleisterlee described Read, who first joined the company as UK Finance Director in 2001, as the “co-architect” of Vodafone’s strategy.
“I am confident Vodafone will benefit greatly from his experience, insight and wisdom in his new role as Group Chief Executive,” he added.
Deputy Group CFO Margherita Della Valle replaces Read as CFO.