Vodafone Group Plc has revealed that it now expects to meet its target of 10 million worldwide customers using its 3G service by the end of March. The announcement comes just days after it ousted the man responsible for promoting the Vodafone Live! Service.
This is an important milestone for Vodafone and I am very pleased that we have achieved our target ahead of time, said chief executive Arun Sarin.
The irony of Sarin’s statement will presumably not be lost on Vodafone’s former chief marketing officer and executive director, Peter Bamford, who was told to leave the mobile giant last week as part of Sarin’s campaign to clear out the last remaining old guard associated with former CEO Sir Christopher Gent.
At the weekend Gent resigned his position as president for life and issued a thinly veiled attack on Sarin and his management. When I was an executive, relationships within the company and at board level were characterized by openness and trust, said Gent. We were mercifully free of company politics and blame culture.
Meanwhile, the two surviving members of Vodafone’s old guard, Vodafone chairman Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth, and Vodafone deputy chief executive Sir Julian Horne-Smith, are due to leave the company in July.
Speaking to Computer Business Review, a Vodafone spokesperson refused to expand upon Bamford’s removal. His employment has been terminated in line with his contract, was the only response. Despite reports last week that Bamford was to leave the operator at the end of the month with up to 7m pounds ($12.2m) in compensation and shares, it seems the former managing director of Vodafone UK has instead left the Newbury, UK-based operator with immediate effect.
When Vodafone launched its Vodafone Live! videophone service in November 2004, it predicted that it would achieve 10 million 3G users by the end of March 2006. Vodafone did not provide any new targets for its 3G service.