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Vodafone restructures business

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Vodafone is to restructure its business to drive growth and cut costs, the mobile giant announced today.

In the overhaul the cellco is to be squeezed into two geographic groups - "Europe" and the emerging markets in "Central Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Affiliates" - and a third division headed "New Businesses and Innovation".

The architects of this makeover reckon it will "drive operational benefits and cost reduction" in Europe while helping to ramp up "profitable growth from the company's emerging markets".

A spokesman for the cellco explained that the mention of "cost reduction" was not some coded language for a mass cull of jobs.

Bill Morrow, the boss of Vodafone's business in Japan recently sold to Softbank for £8.9bn, is to head up the new European business unit which contain Vodafone's principal European markets including Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Paul Donovan, currently chief exec of Other Vodafone Subsidiaries (OVS), will head up the firm's emerging markets division looking after Central Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Affiliates. This include's the firm's JVs and other interests including Verizon Wireless, China Mobile and Vodacom.

"The key focus will be on maximising performance and increasing, where possible, the benefits of being part of the Vodafone Group," said the firm in a statement.

Voda's "New Businesses and Innovation" unit will be charged with developing new areas of revenue growth brought about by converged and IP services. It will headed by the firm's current top techie, Thomas Geitner.

Group chief exec Arun Sarin, who has been at the centre of boardroom rift, said the changes "address the different priorities across the Group".

"By creating three new business units, and with an increased focus on costs, we are reflecting the different approaches that will be required to continue to succeed, both in terms of our existing operations and in capturing new revenue streams for the future," he said. ®

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