Vodafone Group Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: "On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure". Comcast is now locked in a bidding war with 21st Century Fox for European pay-TV group Sky and Comcast is said to be considering gate-crashing Fox's transaction with Disney.
Colao will be replaced by Nick Read, finance director since 2014 and long seen as his successor due to his previous roles running Vodafone's operations around the world. In 2013, Vodafone sold its stake in Verizon Wireless to U.S. telecoms group Verizon Communications for $130bn, which at the time was one of the biggest deals in corporate history. He previously served as Vodafone's chief executive for the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region as well as a board member for both Vodacom and Vodafone India. Prior to his career at Vodafone Read held senior finance positions with United Business Media and Federal Express.
Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao is to leave the mobile phone giant in October after 10 years at the helm.
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"Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive global operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen".
Read will himself be replaced by deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle.
"Margherita has a strong track record in financial leadership at the highest levels, and I am delighted to welcome her to the board".
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The announcement came as the company reported a 1.4pc rise in organic service revenue for its fourth quarter, beating analyst forecasts of a 1.1pc rise.
Just last week Colao, 56, struck a long-expected $21.8bn deal to buy Liberty Global's cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and Eastern Europe.
British telecom major Vodafone said today that Nick Read will be the next CEO of the company, succeeding Vittorio Colao.
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In a separate statement, Vodafone updated investors on its full-year performance, posting a 15.4-percent rise in operating profit to €4.3 billion, while also disclosing a 2.2-percent fall in total revenue to €46.6 billion.