Vodafone hires new chairman, Heineken’s Van Boxmeer

22 May 2020

Vodafone Mobile phone giant Vodafone has recruited current Heineken CEO, Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer to take over from Gerard Kleisterlee as chairman from November.

Vodafone said Belgian-born Van Boxmeer will join the company as a non-executive director on July 28, Reuters reports.

Van Boxmeer has been CEO of Heineken since 2005, and during this time the world’s number two brewer’s share price has increased almost three-fold thanks to organic growth and numerous strategic transactions.

The role will be taken over by Asia-Pacific chief, Dolf van den Brink, next month.

Kleisterlee, who has been Vodafone chairman for nine years, said his successor “is a very experienced businessman, with an in-depth knowledge of our geographic regions and he brings very strong sales and customer focus.”

Under Kleisterlee, the dividend was cut last year, new chief executive Nick Read was found to replace Vittorio Colao, and the $130 billion sale of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless took place in 2015, sparking over $70 billion of cash returned to shareholders., reports the Evening Standard.

Van Boxmeer commented: “I am greatly looking forward to working with (CEO) Nick (Read) and the executive team to drive forward Vodafone’s strategy, ensuring that we create significant value for all stakeholders.”

Earlier in May, Vodafone reported a 2.6% increase in full-year core earnings and maintained its dividend, challenging a corporate trend to reduce payouts or scrap them altogether as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares in the mobile phone giant, which so far this year are down 20%, closed at 129 pence on Thursday, valuing the firm at £34.5 billion.


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