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Vodafone lures star executive back

The former head of Vodafone’s southern European business has been brought to the company as deputy chief executive in charge of European operations

One time tipped as a future Vodafone chief executive, Vittorio Colao, is due to come back to the company next month – October 9 – and will replace Sir Julian Horn-Smith as deputy chief executive. He also replaces Bill Morrow who left the company for family reasons.

Chief executive Arun Sarin said in a statement: “Vittorio made an outstanding contribution in his previous roles at Vodafone and he is a highly effective manager. We have a number of major challenges and opportunities in our European region and I am confident that, given his background and experience, Vittorio is well equipped to succeed in this key position.”

Colao’s return to Vodafone may be fortuitous: He quit the publisher of Italy’s Corriere della Sera (RCS) in July after shareholders at RCS cut his executive powers.

Colao who is 44, will be returning to the firm at a challenging time. Sarin will, no doubt, be looking to his deputy to shore up the firm’s ailing European operations.

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