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Vodafone restructures, shuffles senior management

U.K. head becomes CTO as company splits into three units, including one focused on integrated services.

After recent upheavals that have seen it sell off its Japanese business and cut up to $48.7 billion from the company's value, Vodafone is reshuffling its management and structure.

The mobile operator will be split into three units: new business and innovation; Central Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and affiliates; and Europe.

Bill Morrow, former head of Vodafone in Japan, will become chief executive of the company's Europe division. Tim Miles, head of Vodafone in the United Kingdom, will become the company's chief technology officer. He will be replaced by Nick Read, the U.K. division's chief commercial officer.

Vodafone's current CTO, Thomas Geitner, will take over leadership of the new-business and innovation unit, in which he will be in charge of working on Vodafone's new drive to supply Internet Protocol and integrated services.

The company said the reorganization will also allow it to focus on cutting costs.

According to Robin Hearn, an analyst at Ovum, the management reshuffle and operational changes are "overall a good thing."

"Bill Morrow is clearly no (idiot), in terms of competitive environments--he worked in the U.K. and spent some time in Japan seeing if it was worth saving. He's got the right ear--what he says goes," Hearn said.

However, Hearn added that the Central Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and affiliates group, headed by Paul Donovan, may pose some problems for the operator.

"It's a disparate mix--there are so many different styles of joint venture; there's huge pressure on the U.S. It's a real tricky job," Hearn said. "It's a noble task to try and gather all those places under one roof, but Paul Donovan has got a lot of sleepless nights ahead of him."

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.