Vodafone confirms Margherita Della Valle as first female CEO

Margherita Della Valle

Vodafone has confirmed that chief financial officer Margherita Della Valle will be its new Group CEO – and the first female to hold that role. Della Valle, who has served as CFO since 2018, took over from former CEO Nick Read on an interim basis in December.

Read departed after failing to reverse the company’s declining fortunes. Vodafone suffered a 40% decline in the value of its stock over the course of his leadership.

Della Valle will also continue as Group CFO until an external search for a replacement is complete.

Vodafone, which has been hit by rising costs and which has struggled to regain momentum, announced a €1 billion cost-cutting programme in December, with job cuts in the UK, Germany and Italy following.

The company is in talks to merge its UK business with Three and this week was reported to be once again in talks with French telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel’s Iliad Group about several possible combinations, including a revival of a plan to merge the pair’s businesses in Italy.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Vodafone Group chairman said: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Margherita as Group Chief Executive, following a rigorous internal and external search. Margherita has a strong track record during her long career at Vodafone in marketing, operational, commercial and financial positions. Over the last few months as interim Group Chief Executive, the Board and I have been impressed with her pace and decisiveness to begin the necessary transformation of Vodafone. Margherita has the full support of myself and the Board for her plans for Vodafone to provide better customer experience, become a simpler business and accelerate growth.”

Della Valle said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as Group Chief Executive. Vodafone has a unique position in Europe and Africa with strong customer relationships, networks and people. To realise our potential Vodafone needs to change. We know we can do better. My focus will be to improve the service for our customers, simplify our business and grow.”

Read Next