Vodafone CFO Halford Will Leave After Verizon Wireless Sale

Vodafone Group Plc’s Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford will step down in March following the completion of the company’s $130 billion sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless.

Nick Read, who runs Vodafone’s Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific business, will take his place, becoming CFO designate in January, the Newbury, England-based company said in a statement.

Halford, 54, who has been CFO for nine years, is leaving after completing one of the biggest deals in the company’s history. Last month, Vodafone ended its 14-year-old venture with Verizon Communications Inc. in the biggest sale in more than a decade. Halford, who has been with Vodafone since 1999, was formerly CFO for the Verizon Wireless unit, which became the biggest mobile-phone company in the U.S.

“It has been a privilege to work for one of the greatest businesses of our era for almost half of its life and to have been involved with Verizon Wireless from the earliest days,” Halford said in the statement. “Next year will be the right time for me to move on.”

Halford has returned 61 billion pounds ($99 billion) to shareholders since he became CFO in 2005 and the Verizon Wireless deal will win investors another 54 billion pounds, according to the company.

Marks & Spencer

Vodafone spokesman Simon Gordon declined to comment on Halford’s plans for the future. In addition to his role at Vodafone, Halford sits on the board of directors at Marks & Spencer Group Plc.

Vodafone rose 1.5 percent to 222.25 pence in London trading as of 12:40 p.m. The shares had gained 42 percent this year through yesterday.

Read will be replaced by Serpil Timuray. Timuray has run the company’s fast-growing Turkish unit since 2009 and she’s sat on the board of Vodafone’s South African venture, Vodacom Group Ltd, since last year.

The company also named a replacement for the head of its Italian unit, Paolo Bertoluzzo, this week. Bertoluzzo has taken an expanded role running Vodafone’s commercial operations. He will be replaced by Aldo Bisio on Jan. 1.

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