But why do analysts think mobile giant is a "surfer"?
Mobile operator Vodafone has announced its CEO Arun Sarin is to retire. Sarin will relinquish the reins after five years in the top job at the end of the company's AGM on 29 July - and will be succeeded by current deputy chief executive, Vittorio Colao.
The Indian-born CEO, 53, who became chief executive in July 2003, has a career in telecoms that spans two decades - including executive positions at AirTouch (what is now Verizon Wireless) and Pacific Telesis Group (now part of AT&T). He has also served as a director at networking giant Cisco Systems.
At this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in February, Sarin said the "new new thing" in the telecoms industry is internet on the mobile. And though he warned while 3.5G (aka HSDPA) is fine "for now", customers will demand faster speeds from the mobile internet in three years.
But Sarin also warned operators they must not get complacent in this brave new world of mobile data - as new players such as Apple and Google arrive on the mobile scene - saying: "We must not allow ourselves to become bitpipes and let somebody else do the services work."
Under Sarin, Vodafone has grown its customer base (including companies where it owns an equity share) from 120 million to more than 260 million globally - breaking the 200 million customer mark in January last year - and delivering consistently strong results, according to the company.
A good part of Sarin's energies have been devoted to addressing Vodafone's concentration of its business in mature Western European markets by expanding into emerging markets - including Romania, Turkey and India. In the latter he led the acquisition of network operator Hutchison Essar, the largest foreign investment in the country to-date.
More recently, Sarin announced a plan to cut Vodafone's carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2020 - arguing it is not just ethical to do so but makes good business sense: "It is good for the environment but also makes sense for the business," he said. "It resonates from a financial perspective, as improving energy efficiency helps us to control costs."
Commenting on Vodafone under Sarin, Jeremy Green, mobile director at analyst house Ovum, described its performance as 'dull but worthy'.
He said in a statement: "The group has... continued to deliver growth in the manner of a Californian surfer, tracking up and down the coast in search of wherever the best waves are breaking. In the absence of a generalised growth wave, Vodafone's performance has still been solid but less than exciting."
CEO-in-waiting Colao joined Vodafone via Italy's second mobile operator, Omnitel Pronto Italia, after Big Red bought a controlling stake in its parent company.
Colao joined Omnitel (now known as 'Vodafone Italia') as chief operating officer, becoming CEO in 1999 - before taking on regional CEO roles at Vodafone Group, most recently for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, in 2003. He became a member of Vodafone board of directors in 2002.
Colao holds a Business Degree from Bocconi University and an MBA with Honours from the Harvard Business School.