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Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao to step down in October

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Vittorio Colao, chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, poses for a photograph in London, on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Vittorio Colao, chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, poses for a photograph in London, on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.

Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years in which he reshaped the world’s second largest mobile operator into a digital communications powerhouse with a string of major deals.

Colao will be replaced by Nick Read, finance director since 2014 and long seen as the likely successor due to his role in running Vodafone‘s operations in Britain and the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region.

He will take charge of a group that, under Colao, pulled back from its once brazen expansionist drive to be able to build up its European operations from a pure mobile player to a broader communications provider that offers everything from cable TV to broadband and enterprise services.

Just last week Colao, 56, struck a long-expected $21.8 billion deal to buy Liberty Global‘s cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and Eastern Europe.

But he will be best remembered for one of the world’s biggest deals – the $130 billion sale of its joint venture holding with U.S. group Verizon.

“(Colao) has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future,” Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said.

Vodafone is also merging its operations in the highly competitive Indian mobile market with Idea Cellular.

In Read, investors will get a new chief executive long groomed for the job.

Having joined Vodafone in 2001 he has held a number of roles including sitting on the boards of the company’s listed operations in Africa and Qatar, its subsidiaries in India and Egypt and its joint venture in Australia.

“Nick has been the co-architect of the Group’s strategy together with Vittorio,” Kleisterlee said.

Read will be replaced by his deputy since 2015, Margherita Della Valle. The Italian has previously held other financial and marketing roles within the group after she joined Omnitel Pronto Italia – which later became Vodafone Italy – in 1994.

The announcement came as the company reported a 1.4 percent rise in organic service revenue for its fourth quarter, beating analyst forecasts of a 1.1 percent rise.

Full year core earnings rose 11.8 percent to 14.7 billion euros, beating guidance for “around 10 percent” organic growth and just ahead of analyst forecasts of 14.6 billion euros.

For 2019, the group forecast organic adjusted core earnings growth of between 1 and 5 percent, and free cash flow before spectrum costs of at least 5.2 billion euros, slightly down on the 2018 number of 5.4 billion euros.



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Three options strategies for the week: August 20

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The “Options Action” traders share three options trading strategies to kick off the week.

Dan Nathan recommends a call spread in Alibaba.

Mike Khouw recommends a put spread in the Energy ETF

Mike Khouw recommends an iron condor strategy in the Russell 2000 ETF

Trader disclosure: On July 17, 2018, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s “Options Action” were owned by the “Options Action” traders: Dan Nathan is long XLF Sept put spread. Dan is long CAT put spread. Dan is long QQQ Sept put spread. Dan is long SMH Oct put spread. Carter disclosures not available. Long S&P, HAL. Bearish on TSLA.



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cornhole wants to make it to the big leagues

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Ankit Mittal, of Ellicott City, Md., tosses a bean bag as his friend Shean Flynn, of Newport News, Va., waves his Terrible Towel as the two were playing Corn Hole while enjoying tailgating before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Ricky Carioti | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Ankit Mittal, of Ellicott City, Md., tosses a bean bag as his friend Shean Flynn, of Newport News, Va., waves his Terrible Towel as the two were playing Corn Hole while enjoying tailgating before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Every day after he leaves his job as a warehouse general manager, Cody Henderson runs up to three miles. Then, he sets up cornhole boards and practices throwing beanbags for a couple hours, focusing on timing, balance and precision.

“It helps a lot with the endurance and mental game,” Henderson, 27, told CNBC. “If you can sit there and not get bored in a quiet area for two or three hours, you are really going to set yourself up to succeed on the pro level.”

Succeed he has. Henderson, who lives in Jackson, Ohio, is the top-ranked player out of the 20,000 pros in the American Cornhole League (ACL). He says he earned between $20,000 and $25,000 in prize money last year. He’s peaking just as the sport is surging in popularity.

While cornhole is generally thought of as a beanbag tossing game played at family gatherings or tailgate parties, it’s gotten so big that players like Henderson are making their way to ESPN. During last year’s The Ocho, a one-day event for alternative sports on ESPN 2, the Championship of Bags was the most viewed competition.

In the 18 to 49 age group, more peopled watched cornhole on that day than the competing game coverage of Major League Baseball, the WNBA or the final stage of the Tour de France, according to Sports Media Watch.

For Henderson, cornhole requires 20 hours a week of training and tournaments on weekends. Still, he said most people don’t take him seriously when he says he plays professionally.

“They’ll say, ‘Oh yeah really?’ and just change the subject,” he said. “When people were seeing me on ESPN, everyone’s attitude changed.”



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TiVo falls on report Amazon is developing live TV recording device

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TIVO, Inc. gave a way free TIVO (DVR) Digital Video Recorder, boxes to thousands of happy Comcast Cable customers, who also donated a toy or clothing for charity outside their corporate headquarters.

Kim Kulish | Corbis | Getty Images

TIVO, Inc. gave a way free TIVO (DVR) Digital Video Recorder, boxes to thousands of happy Comcast Cable customers, who also donated a toy or clothing for charity outside their corporate headquarters.

Shares of TiVo fell as much as 10 percent in afternoon trading Friday following a Bloomberg report that Amazon is eyeing a live TV recording device.

TiVo pared losses and closed just 4 percent down at $12.20. The drop extends a challenging run for TiVo, which is now off 20 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in the last 12 months.

Amazon is known to scare investors and send stocks tumbling with news of a planned entrance into a new industry. Earlier this week, movie theater stocks dropped on a report that Amazon is considering a bid for Landmark Theaters.

Representatives for Amazon and TiVo were not immediately available to comment.



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