Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin will step down from the top job at the mobile operator in July, the company has announced.

Sarin will leave the CEO's chair, a position he has occupied for the last five years, on July 28 at the company's annual general meeting, Vodafone said. He will be replaced by Vittorio Colao, the group's deputy CEO.

Sarin was appointed CEO of Vodafone in July 2003, after serving as a non-executive director of the company. He also did a stint as CEO of Vodafone United States and Asia-Pacific. Sarin joined Vodafone in 1999, when the company acquired AirTouch Communications, where he served as president and CEO.

Under Sarin, Vodafone continued to expand its reach internationally, most recently with the acquisition of Indian operator Hutchison Essar. Through this expansion, the number of Vodafone subscribers worldwide increased from 120 million to more than 260 million, Vodafone said.

Colao previously served as head of Vodafone Italy and regional CEO for Southern Europe. He left Vodafone in 2004 to become group CEO of Italian publisher RCS MediaGroup. He rejoined Vodafone in 2006 as CEO of Vodafone's European region before taking on his current position.