Investor tries to oust Vodafone chairman

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate