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Vodafone shareholders are revolting

Sarin faces night of long knives

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Four major institutional investors in Vodafone look set to oppose the re-election of chief executive Arun Sarin.

Hermes, Standard Life, the Prudential and M&G are all expected to either vote against Sarin or abstain at tomorrow's meeting. It is very unusual for big name investors to oppose board decisions in this way. Although unlikely to lead to instant dismissal for Sarin it will severely weaken his postion.

The major investors, none of which have gone "on the record" with their objections, are also expected to oppose the director's pay and bonus packages, according to the Guardian.

In more bad news for Sarin, he lost the exec responsible for the sale of Vodafone Japan. Bill Morrow, boss of Western Europe, was an ally of Sarin.

Morrow told The Times: "It is only after a great deal of careful consideration and with deep regret that I must urgently leave Europe and Vodafone to support my family in our home state of California."

Vodafone also announced its key performance indicators for the quarter ended 30 June 2006 by reiterating previous guidance. It expects growth in the range of five per cent to 6.5 per cent.

Vodafone lost 119,000 customers in the UK - gaining 29,000 contract customers but losing 148,000 Prepay punters. "Annualised blended churn" for the quarter remained stable at 32.8 per cent. Blended ARPU for the period decreased by 3.7 per cent.

More details available from Vodafone here. ®

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