Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”) today announced that Olaf Swantee will be appointed as a non-executive director following the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 27 July 2021, subject to shareholder approval. Mr Swantee will also become a member of Vodafone’s Audit & Risk Committee.
Olaf Swantee has extensive experience of the telecommunications sector and a consistent record of creating shareholder value. He was CEO of Sunrise Communications between 2016-2020 and transformed the company’s brand, network and services to establish it as the quality challenger in the Swiss market. Prior to that he was CEO of EE, where he successfully merged Orange UK and T-Mobile to create the UK’s leading operator following the sale to BT. Before EE, Mr Swantee held a number of senior positions at France Telecom (now Orange Group), Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and Digital Equipment.
Mobile Zone, a company listed on the Swiss stock exchange, has announced Mr Swantee will be proposed to be appointed as its chairman at its AGM in April 2021. Mr Swantee is currently a non-executive director of Telia; he has indicated he does not intend to stand for re-election at its 2021 AGM in April. Mr Swantee has previously held non-executive roles at T-Mobile US, Legal & General, Mobistar (Belgium), Mobinil (Egypt), and Orange in Poland (former TP).
Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, Chairman of Vodafone, said: “I am delighted that Olaf will be joining Vodafone’s Board, subject to shareholder approval at this year’s Annual General Meeting. He brings a wealth of communications expertise, has a strong track record of value creation and has presided over a number of Europe’s leading telecoms businesses. He is also passionate about technology and its potential to change society for the better. I look forward to Olaf’s contribution to our Board and him playing a significant role in the next stage of Vodafone’s strategic development.”
Olaf Swantee commented:
“It is an honour to be invited to join the Board of Vodafone, Europe and Africa’s leading telecommunications company. I am greatly looking forward to working with Jean-Francois and the board to support Nick and the executive team successfully drive forward the strategy.”
Olaf Swantee owns 220,000 Vodafone shares. Pursuant to Listing Rule 9.6.13R, it is confirmed there are no other disclosures required in addition to the above information.
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Notes to editors
Mr Swantee has a track record of delivering industry-leading business growth, influencing market dynamics to encourage competition and deliver benefits to society, and transforming performance and employee engagement. He has extensive international experience of steering organisations through consolidation and integration, while remaining focused on delivery and operational excellence.
As CEO of Sunrise Communications, the company gained true momentum as the leading quality challenger in Switzerland, consistently outperforming its competitors after transforming its network, brand, services, employee base and routes to market. As a result, Sunrise gained share across key product areas, achieved the great place to work award and delivered a total shareholder return of 57%, in comparison with the Stoxx 600 telecoms index, which dropped by -5.6% during the same period. The company has outperformed its peers and delivered on its key KPIs each quarter.
During his tenure as CEO of EE, Mr Swantee successfully merged Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, then the country’s #3 and #4 networks worth a combined £8.5bn and turned them into its most successful operator. This resulted in a sale to BT for £12.5bn and a jump of from the top 25 to #7 in the Sunday Times list of “Best Big Companies to Work For”.
Between 2007 and 2011, he held senior positions at France Telecom (now Orange Group), including leading the €12.6bn European mobile and fixed business, serving 60 million customers.
About Vodafone Group
Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Europe and Africa. Our purpose is to “connect for a better future” and our expertise and scale gives us a unique opportunity to drive positive change for society. Our networks keep family, friends, businesses and governments connected and – as COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated – we play a vital role in keeping economies running and the functioning of critical sectors like education and healthcare.
Vodafone is the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe and a leading global IoT connectivity provider. Our M-Pesa technology platform in Africa enables over 45m people to benefit from access to mobile payments and financial services. We operate mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries and partner with mobile networks in 48 more. As of 31 December 2020, we had over 300m mobile customers, more than 27m fixed broadband customers, over 22m TV customers and we connected more than 118m IoT devices.
We support diversity and inclusion through our maternity and parental leave policies, empowering women through connectivity and improving access to education and digital skills for women, girls, and society at large. We are respectful of all individuals, irrespective of race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, belief, culture or religion.
Vodafone is also taking significant steps to reduce our impact on our planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025, purchasing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment.
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