Berroeta will take up his position on 1 March, with Morrow not leaving until the end of that month to effect the handover.
That gives Berroeta four weeks to come to terms with the challenge he faces in arresting the severe decline in VHA’s customer numbers and returning the company to profitability. The Spaniard has been CEO of Vodafone Romania since 2009, in charge of 3500 employees and annual revenues of €769 million ($1.2 billion).
Under his leadership Vodafone Romania improved its profitability in a highly competitive market and tough economic conditions. He led Vodafone Romania’s successful bid to renew and acquire a 15 year spectrum license and established the company as the first mobile carrier to offer 4G services.
The challenge in Australia is a little different. Bill Morrow was brought in as a turnaround merchant but spent less than two years in the job before being lured away to head up a problematic NBN. Morrow’s efforts in restoring Vodafone’s fortunes in Australia were just starting to bear fruit, with massive investment in the existing 3G and the new 4G network, but its competitive situation remains dire.
Outgoing CEO Bill Morrow said Berroeta’s international experience and passion for the Vodafone family would ensure a smooth transition and a continued transformation of the company.
“Iñaki is a great fit for the local team and his diverse background places him well to take Vodafone through to the next phase of its three year turnaround. His appointment demonstrates Vodafone Group’s and Hutchison Whampoa’s commitment to developing talent globally and to putting the right people in the right places.”
A native of northern Spain’s Basque country, Berroeta is a 20 year veteran of the telecommunications industry. He was was appointed CEO of Vodafone Malta in 2007, and previously held various operational roles at Vodafone Spain, Global Star USA, AirTouch International (USA), Airtel Moviles (Spain) and Keon (Spain and USA).