Friday, June 17, 2005

Leaving on a jet plane

Daryll Green, former Vodafone K.K. CEO left Tuesday for India with his family to head up Tata Teleservices. Green quit last June after having endured several months of his COO, David Jones, acting more and more like a chief executive, and effectively wresting, with the help of the Vodafone group, operational control from Green. It coincided with a voluntary retirement program that was over-subscribed, and which saw an 18% reduction in regular employees. Jones, who was fairly unceremoniously kicked out as of April 1st by new VFKK chairman Shiro Tsuda, and whose job was elimenated, had managed to have himself as the sole approver for almost all decisions at the company, and many decisions had ground to a halt.
Back to Green. There had been rumours, some going as high as the Nikkei, that he would become head of Softbank's mobile venture. Considering that Green hadn't been working for the last year, at least not that anyone saw, it is hard to believe he didn't have any irons in the fire during that whole period, just playing poker at the American Club. According to several vendors who have had dealings with Softbank, however, they are scumbags, at times refusing to pay vendors, lying about the number of software licenses they are using, and basically not behaving in a particularly ethical way. Their announcement that they wanted to start some time in 2006 should be treated with some caution: Though it would be easy enough for them to have something up and running in Tokyo or another couple of urban centres, an analysis suggests that it would not be possible for them to roll out a national network prior to mid-late 2007.
Tata definitely seems like the better choice for Daryll, and with a lot more possibilities. Though no one else has mentioned it, they also have a great stakeholder in Avaya, giving them access to a network equipment vendor and their expertise, especially in VoIP.
Sayonara, Mr. Green, and good luck!

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