Investor tries to oust Vodafone chairman
Thursday 22 July 2010
Vodafone can expect turbulence at its annual meeting next week after a prominent shareholder yesterday moved to oust Sir John Bond following years of "strategic weaknesses" at the group.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), which holds a 0.42 per cent stake in the mobile phone giant, said it would vote against the re-election of Sir John Bond, who has been chairman since 2006, at the annual general meeting on Tuesday.
The giant investor, which closed its deal to buy the National Lottery operator Camelot earlier this month, said rejuvenating the board was a "critical step" that would spark a corporate restructuring "and a re-examination of Vodafone's long history of poor capital allocation and disastrous M&A".
Its proposal said: "For at least the last five years, the company has had significant structural and strategic weaknesses, resulting in Vodafone trading at a substantial, persistent discount to its asset value."
OTPP also said it would vote against the re-election of deputy chairman John Buchanan as part of its move to overhaul the board.
Vodafone insiders said this was the first time OTPP had turned on management and described it as an exercise in "running the flag up the flagpole". One conceded that other shareholders could support the move to oust Sir John "if they see some short-term value in the move".
The Canadian fund does support the chief executive Vittorio Colao, who has been in charge of Vodafone since 2008, and has successfully slashed costs at the group.
"We believe the chief executive has begun improving Vodafone's operating performance and competitiveness," it said, although it cautioned: "We remain particularly concerned with the lengthy delay in addressing fundamental issues."
Vodafone is preparing to announce its interim management statement covering the quarter to the end of June on Friday.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Autumn Statement 2013: Work until you’re 70 - George Osborne accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over pension reforms
Nigella Lawson arrives for second day in court after accusing Charles Saatchi of threatening to 'destroy' her with drug claims
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
Paul Walker death: Eight-year-old son of Porsche driver Roger Rodas tried to rescue his father
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Hate With Friends: Now you can find out who your Facebook frenemies are
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with a strong understanding o...
£50000 per annum: Morgan Hunt: Whilst the Real Estate sector was suffering thi...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: The role will suit a fund product specialist, current...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits : Harrington Starr: An award wi...