Vodafone reacts to stock tumble with reshuffle

The reorganisation should allow the mobile giant to cut costs and make sure innovation gets the attention it needs

After recent upheavals that have seen it sell off its Japanese business and lose £28bn in stock market value, Vodafone is now reshuffling its management and structure.

The company will now be broken down into three units: new Business and Innovation; Central Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and affiliates; and Europe.

Bill Morrow, former head of Vodafone in Japan, will become chief executive of the mobile operator's Europe division. Tim Miles, head of Vodafone UK, will become the company's CTO, while the UK division's now chief commercial officer, Nick Read, will take over Miles' old role.

Vodafone's current CTO, Thomas Geitner, will now take over leadership of the new business and innovation unit and will be in charge of working on Vodafone's new drive to supply IP and converged services.

The mobile operator said the reorganisation will also allow it to focus on cutting costs.

According to Robin Hearn, analyst at Ovum, the management reshuffle and operational changes are "overall a good thing".

"Bill Morrow is clearly no mug in terms of competitive environments — he worked in the UK and spent some time in Japan seeing if it was worth saving. He's got the right ear — what he says goes," he said.

However, Hearn added that the affiliates group may pose some problems for the operator. "It's a disparate mix — there are so many different styles of joint venture, there's huge pressure on the US. It's a real tricky job. It's a noble task to try and gather all those places under one roof but Paul Donovan [head of the unit] has got a lot of sleepless nights ahead of him."