Margherita Della Valle, the new CEO of Vodafone Group Plc, predicted that this year’s earnings will largely be flat as a result of job cuts and corporate structure simplification.
The Newbury, England-based company forecasted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to be €13.3 billion ($14.5 billion) for the fiscal year ending in March. The company announced that it would eliminate 11,000 jobs, work to revive its German operations, and begin a “strategic review” in Spain.
Della Valle, a longtime Vodafone employee who served as interim CEO and chief financial officer before being appointed permanently to the top position last month, is in charge of turning around the company, which has struggled with a declining share price and the inability to consolidate its dispersed global operations. She promised to reallocate resources to concentrate on the “quality service our customers expect” and expand the Vodafone Business division in the statement.
“Our performance was insufficient. Vodafone must adapt if it wants to consistently deliver, she said in the statement. “Customers, simplicity, and growth are my top priorities. In order to regain our competitiveness, we will streamline our operations and eliminate complexity.
She also has to deal with a number of new telecom industry shareholders, some of whom are becoming more outspoken about their desire to have a say in how the company is run. The company’s largest shareholder, Emirates Telecommunications Group Co., or e&, has been steadily increasing its holdings. Hatem Dowidar, the CEO of the United Arab Emirates-backed business and a former executive at Vodafone, will join the board as a non-executive director, the company announced last week.