To the surprise of many the boss of telecoms behemoth Vodafone is stepping down at the end of July.
Arun Sarin, 53, leaves the job after five years , but leaves on a high. Vodafone is the world number one telecoms player, and has just reported a 14 percent rise in revenue, over 12.5 billion euros of profit, and is cash rich, with free flows of nearly seven billion euros.
In his five years at the helm Sarin has met or exceeded forecasts, but has not been without critics. In the 2006 AGM, for example, 15 percent of shareholders voted against him or abstained, as European core markets had matured and Vodafone appeared to have no growth strategy.
The following year Sarin bought India’s fourth largest mobile operator, as he identified the opportunities in developing markets. He pursued this policy despite sceptics, winning them over and, crucially, delivering performance.
Vodafone shares today were up, and adjusted earnings per share are also up 11 percent in this his swansong year.