Vodafone accelerates integration of C&WW

Vodafone is stepping up the pace of integration of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW) with the creation of a new business-focused global enterprise unit that would see the Cable & Wireless name disappear after an almost 80-year history.

Analysts had expected the telco to complete assimilation of C&WW's operations in a year, after it acquired the company this summer for around £1 billion as it involved the integration of different systems and technologies used by the two groups. However, with the underlying C&WW business proving to be much more robust than expected, the integration would happen faster.

According to Vodafone, the new enterprise unit would be formed at the start of 2013, and would be led by chief executive of Cable & Wireless Worldwide Nick Jeffery. He would become group enterprise director reporting to Vittorio Colao, Vodafone's group chief executive, with the new unit comprising global enterprise, carrier services, machine-to-machine solutions, and hosting and cloud services. The business unit would operate across 50 countries.
According to Vodafone, there had been strong customer demand for combined products and services following the C&WW acquisition in July 2012.

''To realise this growth opportunity, we have decided to accelerate the C&WW integration process ahead of our original schedule,'' the company said in a statement.

The acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide formed part of a strategy for strengthening Vodafone's enterprise business. With the deal, Vodafone doubled the size of its enterprise business, and also bolstered its UK services, allowing it to emerge as the second-largest combined fixed and mobile operator after BT.
The new unit, starting 1 January, would include the telco's global enterprise and carrier services business, as well as machine-to-machine and hosting and cloud services, according to the Newbury, England-based company's statement.

Jeffery, who was named head of Cable & Wireless in July, had formerly run the company's global enterprise unit. The company said new global enterprise chief Jan Geldmacher would retain his position and report to Jeffery.

''It has become clear that there is strong customer demand for combined products and services,'' Vodafone said in the statement. ''To realise this growth opportunity, we have decided to accelerate the CWW integration process ahead of our original schedule.''

Also, starting 1 January, the two companies would combine their UK-based enterprise businesses, customer service, human resources, finance and other departments.