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Voda boss could reap £45m for just hanging on

Worth waiting for summer 2009

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Vodafone boss Arun Sarin could be cashing in £45m, in shares and options, if he can keep Vodafone on an even keel until summer 2009. Even if he jumps ship now he could sell off what he already owns for a tidy £10m.

The figures come from The Sunday Times, which has worked out that the 33 per cent rise in Vodafone shares over the last 12 months values Mr. Sarin's current stock in the company at £10m. Throw in future share and option grants and the figure jumps to that almost round £45m. They also note he should still have some change lying around from the £17m he made selling Air-Touch to Vodafone back in 1999.

Arun has certainly turned Vodafone around, selling off unprofitable ownerships in Switzerland and Belgium while getting involved in developing markets such as India. Investors have responded well to his leadership and driven up the price of the shares, despite the fact that the UK Vodafone billing system is a complete mess and Sarin apparently knows nothing about the mobile phone business.

But despite his novel approach the company has been rolling out new services and getting customers onto data services as well as ensuring it's got fixed-line assets where it's selling mobile, so it can paint itself as a communications company rather than a mobile phone operator.

To get his £45m Sarin is going to have to keep Vodafone profitable for the next 18 months. He had intended to step down this summer, but the promise of such a wedge could well be enough to keep him hanging around for an additional year.®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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