Gerard Kleisterlee to become chairman of Vodafone

Vodafone Group has announced that Sir John Bond, the chairman of the company, will be retiring from the board at the company’s AGM in July 2011.

He will be succeeded as chairman by Gerard Kleisterlee, currently president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of management, and the group management committee of Koninklijke Philips Electronics.

Kleisterlee will be retiring from Philips on 31 March 2011 and will be appointed as a non-executive director of Vodafone on 1 April 2011.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, said: “On behalf of the Board and everyone at Vodafone I would like to pay tribute to Sir John for his huge contribution to the Company throughout his tenure as Chairman. We have been fortunate to have benefited from his leadership, experience and wise counsel in a time of evolution for Vodafone. I personally am very grateful to him for his constant support and personal advice since becoming CEO, during a phase of extraordinary economic and industry changes.”

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

Commenting on the appointment of Kleisterlee as his successor, Sir Bond 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 commented: “It is an honour and a privilege to be invited by the Board of Vodafone to become its Chairman. I am looking forward greatly to this new challenge, to contributing to this company’s record of success, and to building on Sir John’s outstanding achievements.”