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Sarin quits Vodafone

Surprise departure

Arun Sarin is leaving Vodafone. The chief executive departs as the mobile group's profits pass £10bn for the year.

Vodafone made revenues of £35.5bn, up 4.2 per cent, and adjusting operating profit of £10.1bn in the year ended 31 March 2008. Earnings per share were up 11 per cent to 12.5p.

Sarin will be replaced by his deputy Vittorio Colao. The handover will take place after the mobile firm's Annual General Meeting 29 July 2008.

The company now has 260m mobile customers, up 26 per cent, including 44m in India - Vodafone completed the acquisition of Essar in May 2007.

Sarin has been at the helm of Vodafone since July 2003 when he replaced Chris Gent, and his departure is a surprise; although in 2006 four major Vodafone shareholders opposed his re-election as CEO Sarin survived the hostile meeting and stayed on. He has overseen the expansion of Vodafone into India, Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Vodafone chairman Sir John Bond said Sarin had led the company with distinction, developed a new strategy and successfully expanded its business in emerging markets. ®

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