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Rediff.com  » Business » Philips chief Kleisterlee to head Vodafone

Philips chief Kleisterlee to head Vodafone

February 02, 2011 17:33 IST
Gerard KleisterleeVodafone Group Plc said on Wednesday it has appointed electronics giant Philips chief Gerard Kleisterlee as its new Chairman. Kleisterlee, president and chief executive at Philips Electronics NV, will take over the post from John Bond after the group's annual shareholder meeting in July, Vodafone said.

The 64-year-old German, who has spent nearly four decades at Philips and around 10 years in the top position, will retire from the company on March 31 and will also be appointed as non-executive director at Vodafone on April 1, it added.

"I am looking forward greatly to this new challenge, to contributing to this company's record of success, and to building on John's outstanding achievements", Kleisterlee said.

In addition to his role at Philips, Kleisterlee has been a member of the Daimler AG Supervisory Board since April 2009.

He was also a non-executive director of the supervisory board and member of the Audit Committee of Royal Dutch Shell since November 2010, and a member of the board of directors of Dell since December 2010.

Bond, who became chairman of Vodafone in July 2006 after serving as a non-executive director said: "Today's announcement is the culmination of a succession planning process which the Board initiated in February 2010.

"I
am delighted to announce that Gerard Kleisterlee, a highly successful international businessman whose track record at Philips speaks for itself, will be succeeding me as chairman after my six years on the Board of Vodafone."

Kleisterlee will be joining Vodafone at a time when the company is surrounded by a number of challenges.

Vodafone has some concerns in India as the UK-based firm has objected to Essar's plans to merge the holding firm Essar Telecommunications Holding Private Limited, having 11 per cent stake in Vodafone-Essar, with India Securities Limited, a listed firm of Essar Group, saying this could distort the valuation of the joint venture.

Vodafone-Essar is the third largest mobile operator in India.

Vodafone had acquired nearly 67 per cent stake in 2007 from Hutchison while Ruias-led Essar have little over 33 per cent equity in the joint venture.

Apart from that, in India, Vodafone is also fighting a tax demand over the $11.2-billion acquisition of Hutchison Essar Ltd in 2007.

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