Vodafone CMO could take top spot as CEO exits

By Rosie Baker | 12 December 2013
Vodafone's Kidults - see the world like a child.

Vodafone's chief marketing officer Kim Clarke could be in line for the top job at the mobile network when current CEO Bill Morrow steps down next year to head up the NBN.

Any of the Vodafone executive team could be in the running for the top job, but Clarke has been tipped by some as a contender after playing a main role in the telco's turnaround strategy.

The mobile network will wait until next year to announce Morrow's successor, with the Vodafone stalwart and turnaround specialist likely to start at NBN Co in the second quarter of 2014. Morrow joined Vodafone Australia in 2012 to stabilise the company after disastrous performance issues led to a mass exodus of customers.

Clarke, who joined as CMO in September 2012 from Salesforce, has headed up the brand revival efforts designed to win back customers and invite people to rethink how they view the brand, including the recent Kidult campaign.

She previously worked with Morrow at Vodafone in the UK.

Morrow will take on the CEO role at NBN Co next year and oversee the building of Australia's national broadband network. His exit is not expected to be until the second quarter of next year.

He previously headed up the Vodafone Europe business as well as its Japan and UK arms.

Vodafone's chairman Canning Fok and Nick Read, Vodafone’s Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Chief Executive, said in a statement: “Under Bill’s leadership, the Vodafone team has made significant inroads in the delivery of the turnaround strategy and we are confident he is leaving the business well placed to see out the final phase of its recovery. The company’s shareholders are committed to further investment to build the business moving forward and are excited about its future.”

Morrow said: “There is an enviable culture within Vodafone that no other business can emulate and it’s this true desire to succeed that will see this brand return to its former position of pride.

“While it has not been an easy decision to leave Vodafone, we have fixed the fundamentals, stabilised the business, invested heavily in the network and we are already starting to see signs of customers coming back.”

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