Nick Read, the CEO of Vodafone, will step down; Margherita Della Valle will succeed him.

Margherita Della Valle, the chief financial officer of Vodafone, will temporarily take Nick Read’s place. Read guided the mobile group through the pandemic during his four years in command, liquidated assets to sharpen the organization’s focus on Europe and Africa, and spun off the tower infrastructure into a distinct unit.

Nick Read, the CEO of the UK-based Vodafone Group, said on Monday that he would retire at the end of this year. He will be replaced in the interim by Margherita Della Valle, the organization’s chief financial officer.

“I agreed with the board that now is the right moment to transition over to a new leader who can build on Vodafone’s strengths and seize the enormous potential ahead,” said CEO Read, who has been in charge for the past four years.

Read, who joined Vodafone in 2001, will continue to serve as a consultant until the end of March 2023.

Along with guiding the mobile firm through the epidemic, Read sold off assets to focus the business’ attention more on Europe and Africa and spun off the tower infrastructure into a new company.

In addition to her new job as interim group chief executive, Margherita Della Valle will keep her post as group chief financial officer. The Board has reportedly begun looking for a new Group Chief Executive, according to the company’s statement.

It follows a sharp decline in the share price of Vodafone this year and follows the company’s recent announcement of flat first-half earnings.

Before being named CEO in 2018, Nick Read joined Vodafone Group in 2001 and held top management positions at the local, regional, and international levels. Nick Read had a number of senior executive positions at the local, regional, and worldwide levels before to being named CEO in 2018. Prior to joining Vodafone, he held executive financial positions at Federal Express Worldwide and United Business Media Plc.