The departure of Vodafone's European head, Michel Combes, could trigger a dramatic reshaping of the company's European operations, according to a Bloomberg report. The report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, claim that the decision by Combes to become head of SFR could lead to Vodafone separating its European subsidiaries into Western and Eastern entities.
Any reorganisation, which is said to be at an early stage, could see Vodafone divide its operations into three large units: Western Europe, Eastern Europe (comprising Turkey and its Central and Eastern European properties) and a third unit that would include the company's assets in southern Africa and India.
Will Draper, an analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank in London, told Bloomberg that Vodafone's Italian head Paolo Bertoluzzo and Serpil Timuray, the CEO of Vodafone Turkey, as internal execs that could take on greater responsibilities, together with Michael Joseph, the former CEO of Vodafone's Kenyan subsidiary who is now director of global payments.
After Combes's departure, "any person who fills that similar position has the potential to move to a bigger role," Guy Peddy, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in London told Bloomberg. "That's the opportunity that's now been provided."
Of note, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said last week that it Turkish unit, which had the fastest growth in service revenue last quarter over any other market, doesn't fit within the current structure "I cannot put it either in mature and sophisticated Europe or in emerging markets because it is at the same time sophisticated and emerging," Colao said when asked how he viewed the Turkish market.
"I have to say in this sense it's clearly an engine for growth, it's also a sophisticated market and so in that sense it's also a European market," he told Bloomberg.