Vodafone Australia has appointed Inaki Berroeta, who has been CEO of Vodafone Romania since 2010, as its new CEO to replace Bill Morrow on 1 March.
Morrow will take the position of head of NBN Co, and will remain with Vodafone until the end of March.
“Under Mr Berroeta’s leadership Vodafone Romania has delivered growth and improved profitability in a highly competitive market and tough economic conditions,” Vodafone said. “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 LTE services.”
Morrow praised the selection in a statement issued by Vodafone.
Berroeta previously served as CEO of Vodafone Malta and has also held various operational roles in the United States and Spain at Vodafone Spain, Global Star USA, AirTouch International, Airtel Mobiles and Keon.
“Inaki 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,” Morrow said.
“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.”
Morrow led a turnaround initiative at Vodafone and is expected to do the same for NBN Co when he takes over as CEO]] from Mike Quigley.
Morrow has said his departure did not mean he was giving up the number-three telco.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with leaving because the job couldn’t be done or the company isn’t in a good position,” he said in December.
“I would have stuck around for another year but when the opportunity [came] to present itself at NBN Co, when I look at the stability that the company currently has, it’s one of those things that [came] together and that’s why I did what I did.
Berroeta has a challenging road ahead, Australian analysts told Computerworld Australia.
“He will be up for a challenge as the company in Australia has still have lot of issues to resolve, obviously the technical and ongoing integration problems but also the highly competitive situation and the fast-moving market towards more and more mobile broadband,” said independent telecom analyst, Paul Budde.
“Will they be able to keep up the necessary investment while still losing customers at the same time?”
IBRS analyst Guy Cranswick agreed. “In Australia, as Vodafone is still trying to grow from its many problems, the brand needs continuity and leadership that can maintain the momentum that Morrow developed.”
While Budde and Cranswick said they were not familiar with Berroeta before the appointment, the analysts said the new CEO appears to have a strong record in other markets.
“No doubt he will have Morrow's counsel, when required, in the early stages,” said Cranswick.