Maher passes Vodafone baton to Hewitt

Vodafone Australia has announced the appointment of Russell Hewitt as the new CEO to replace Grahame Maher.

Formerly Vodafone's chief commercial officer, Hewitt's appointment is effective June 1, 2005.

Maher is leaving Australia to take up the role of CEO of Vodafone Sweden.

He was appointed Australian CEO in September 2001 after heading up Vodafone New Zealand.

Maher, who said the decision to leave has not been an easy one, had the challenging job of overseeing the company's rebranding from BellSouth and increasing market share from 17 percent to 50 percent over three years.

"However, now is the right time for me to pass the baton and move onto my next challenge within Vodafone Group," Maher said.

"Over the last 15 months, in his role as chief commercial officer, Russell has been instrumental in delivering our new sales and service model and expanding our new state structure, both of which have resulted in significant growth."

Hewitt joined Vodafone Australia from Hewlett-Packard in January 2004, where he was managing director of HP in New Zealand following the Compaq-HP merger.

Previously he was the managing director of Compaq New Zealand for two and a half years.

"The Australian mobile market is one of the most competitive in the world, but we have the people, the products, the services and most importantly the commitment to our customers to meet those challenges and to maintain the momentum of the business," Hewitt said.

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