Arun Sarin steps down at Vodafone

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Arun Sarin has announced his retirement as Vodafone chief executive and will be succeeded by current deputy chief executive Vittorio Colao..

Sarin will step down at the end of the company's AGM on 29 July after after five years in the role.

Formerly president of AirTouch Communications when it was acquired by Vodafone in 1999, Sarin also held positions as chief executive of Vodafone in the US and Asia-Pacific leading up to his running of the company.

Sarin also headed Vodafone's global mobile internet division, responsible for the introduction of wireless internet services.

"It has been a privilege to lead Vodafone for the past five years and to have been involved in the company for such a long time," said Sarin.

"I feel that I have accomplished what I set out to achieve, particularly in developing and implementing a new strategy. I am very proud of what Vodafone and its 71,000 people have achieved and the good momentum we have in the marketplace.

"I know that the business is in capable hands with Vittorio Colao. Having worked with him for many years I know that he has the experience and vision to take Vodafone on to future success."

Sarin came under heavy criticism and was nearly ousted from his position in 2006 when many shareholders voted against his continuing to lead the company.

"Arun has done a tremendous job as chief executive," added Sir John Bond, chairman of Vodafone.

"He has led the company with distinction and navigated Vodafone through a period of rapid change. He has developed a new strategy for the business and significantly expanded our footprint in emerging markets."

Colao was appointed chief executive of Europe and deputy group chief executive of Vodafone in October 2006 having also joined the company through an acquisition.
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