Ono Chairman Said to Plan Resignation After Takeover by Vodafone

Grupo Corporativo Ono SA Chairman Jose Maria Castellano plans to step down after the Spanish cable provider agreed to be acquired by Vodafone Group Plc, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The 66-year-old former chief executive officer of Inditex SA, owner of the Zara brand, could leave Ono in a few months after a successful transition to the new leadership under Vodafone, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private.

Castellano, a former professor at the University of A Coruna in northern Spain, has been Ono’s chairman since November 2008. Previously, he helped build Inditex into the world’s largest clothing retailer and took the company public in 2001, a deal that made founder Amancio Ortega a billionaire. Castellano has also served as a director at nationalized lender NCG Banco, Rothschild and jewelery company Tous.

Vodafone, the world’s second-largest wireless carrier, agreed yesterday to buy Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion), including debt, to boost its TV and broadband offerings. Vodafone has asked Ono’s management including CEO Rosalia Portela and Chief Financial Officer Carlos Sagasta to stay at the company, the people said.

A representative for Ono declined to comment on the future of individual executives and said Castellano isn’t available. In an e-mailed statement, Newbury, England-based Vodafone said it values the expertise of Ono’s management and will closely work with the company to support the integration process.

“People who believe that Jose Maria Castellano will retire don’t know him well,” said Antonio Camunas, founder of Madrid-based public relations firm Global Strategies and an adviser to Castellano for the past 20 years. “Challenges don’t make him blink.”

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