Vodafone: Out of Many, One

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Vodafone's Vision Statement
Our vision is to be the world's mobile communication leader - enriching customers' lives, helping individuals, business and communities be more connected in a mobile world. Executive Summary
Vodafone Group, PLC is the world's largest cell phone provider with 150 million customers and operations in 16 countries and minority stakes in companies in 10 other countries. Its first mover advantage and acquisition strategy along with its ability to continuously transform and adapt to a changing market has fostered its industry leading growth. The firm is headquartered in Newbury, England and employs 67,000 people around the world. In 2005, it was the eleventh most valuable company in the world with a market capitalization of $165.7 billion. The company has a large free cash flow, consistently pays dividends and recently announced a £3 billion share repurchase program (Hitt, 2009, p. 335).

First mover advantage in the cell phone market was realized when the original firm, Racal Telecom Limited, successfully bid on a private sector U.K. cellular license in 1982 and by 1987 was managing the world's largest mobile network. Through the early years, they continued to transform the industry by signing the first international roaming agreement with Telecom Finland and later offering the first pre-paid packages precluding the need for a long-term contract. With a change of CEO in 1997, Vodafone's growth strategy was shifted from organic to aggressive external continuing its globalization by signing more roaming agreements and merging with AirTouch Communications Inc. of the United States more than doubling its customer base to 31 million customers across the globe. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the firm continued its aggressive merger and acquisition strategy with the integration of Vodafone's North American branch into a new entity branded Verizon Wireless together with Bell Atlantic's mobile business, with Vodafone keeping 45 percent...
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