On Tuesday May 27th 2008, there were reports that Arun Sarin was to step down as CEO of Vodafone:
Arun Sarin, the chief executive who safeguarded mobile company Vodafone’s dominance among mobile operators by expanding into emerging markets, announced his departure on Tuesday, saying he had achieved all he had set out to do. He will be replaced by his deputy, Vittorio Colao, in July.
Analysts welcomed the smooth transition at the top of the world’s largest mobile phone group by revenue but said that it had come slightly earlier than expected. [Reuters]
Later the same day (and even today) News channels on TV were reporting the same and associating exclamations such as “stunning” and “shocking” with it! E.g.: “Arun Sarin — stunned the corporate world by stepping down as the CEO of one of the world’s biggest telecom company” [Times Now]. I wonder what is so stunning in that? Sensational-ism? Gather-Eyeballs-ism? Sarin had achieved what he had set out to do – make Vodafone one of the biggest Telecom companies in the World (It is the biggest in terms of revenue). He took over when Vodafone was facing turbulent times and with his stratagem of consolidating into emerging markets and reducing tariffs and introducing new revenue segments. He spearheaded Vodafone’s takeover of Hutchison Essar last year which turned out be his biggest success.
News scrollers were running since evening proclaiming that ex-Renault and ex-McLaren driver and double world champion Fernando Alonso has decided to rejoin Renault. But whilst the news items said it’s a. 3-year deal, web reports suggested a 2-year deal. The former champion would be partnered by rookie driver Nelson Piquet for the 2008 F1 season.
Next year, double world champion Fernando Alonso will drive alongside Brazilian rookie Nelson Piquet Jr. They will be supported by Frenchman Romain Grosjean, reigning 2007 F3 Euroseries Champion and a product of Renault’s driver development scheme, in the role of test driver. [Source]
Well, it was inevitable I’d say. For a driver of the calibre and stature as Alonso, the top teams should be the destination and since neither Ferrari nor BMW had the openings, the next logical choice would have to be Renault. Toyota may have the kind of money to entice Alonso but their car’s competitiveness is just not enough for a championship fight. But poor Kovalainen…after a good season (rookie season, mind it!) and securing Renault’s only podium place of the season, he finds himself out of the team. But there’s a silver lining to it: Renault consider him to be “good enough to challenge Alonso” and hence thought keeping him would not be the best thing to do in interests of team harmony. They sure wouldn’t want another Alonso Vs. Hamilton saga to pan out within their team. It remains to be seen whether Kovalainen would join McLaren or maybe even Toyota or Force India.
Other Reports: BBC Sport | Formula1.com