Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Combes steps up as SFR CEO quits

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Monday 11 September 17

French telco says media head Alain Weill will oversee the integration of telecoms and media assets

SFR has announced the resignation of chief executive Michel Paulin, who is leaving the company for personal reasons. The French telco said Michel Combes, group CEO and chief executive of parent company Altice…

SFR has announced the resignation of chief executive Michel Paulin, who is leaving the company for personal reasons.

The French telco said Michel Combes, group CEO and chief executive of parent company Altice, will step into the breach. It made no comment on a permanent succession plan.

However, the telco said Alain Weill, CEO of SFR Media, has been charged with the responsibility of integrating the operator's telecoms and media activities following its acquisition of media outfit NextRadioTV.

Paulin's "expertise and leadership have been a major asset to the company," Combes said, noting that he laid the groundwork for the ongoing transformation of the group.

"With Alain Weill, plus the SFR management team, we are fully equipped to continue the transformation of the company begun in the past few months, to continue to improve operational performance and prepare for the next stages of group development around massive network investments in networks, the convergence of telecoms, media and advertising, and digitisation of the customer experience," Combes said.

SFR agreed to acquire Altice's 49% stake in Groupe News Participation, parent company of NextRadioTV, last year, with the other 51% remaining in the hands of Weill, NextRadioTV founder and CEO. Earlier this year, SFR announced it would take full control of NextRadioTV with Weill taking charge of all of Altice's media activities.

In May Altice unveiled plans to unify its sprawling telecoms and cable assets under the Altice brand, including SFR. It aims to complete the rebrand by mid-2018.

Paulin was appointed CEO of SFR in early 2016, replacing Eric Denoyer.

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