Vodafone non-exec steps down to focus on role as boss of Axel Springer

Oliver Gill
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Vodafone non-exec Mathias Doepfner will not seek re-election at the firm's AGM in July (Source: Getty)

The boss of Axel Springer is to step down from Vodafone's board amid reports the German publishing giant is preparing to shake up its balance sheet.

Mathias Doepfner will not seek re-election as a Vodafone non-exec director this summer, it was announced today.

The telecoms giant said this would enable him "to focus on his role as chief executive and chairman of Axel Springer, his role as president of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers and on other mandates more directly linked with his Axel Springer responsibilities".

Vodafone chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Mathias for his significant contribution to Vodafone and wish him well for the future."

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Axel Springer, the owner of German newspaper Die Bilt and Europe's largest publishing house, denied plans for a capital raise last month. This was despite Doepfner telling publication Manager Magazin it could initiate a capital increase and "our major shareholders would be in a position to participate in a capital increase".

But the firm insisted hours later said Doepfner was discussing an "abstract possibility".

A spokesperson for Axel Springer said: “There are currently no plans for a capital increase nor are such steps being considered."

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