Altice appoints Michel Combes as CEO

Michel Combes was appointed CEO of Netherlands-based Altice following a management reshuffle ahead of the launch of the company's new business in the U.S.

Combes, who was appointed COO of Altice last September after quitting the leadership role at Alcatel-Lucent, replaces Dexter Goei, who has been appointed CEO of the newly formed Altice USA.

The new U.S. unit was unveiled after Altice completed the acquisition of Cablevision and combined it with Suddenlink to form Altice USA.

It was also announced that Altice founder Patrick Drahi will step down from his position as president of Altice NV and will lead the newly formed Altice Group advisory council.

The launch of Altice USA represents a hugely important step for the group, which until now has focused on buying mobile and cable assets in Europe and French overseas territories.

Drahi said the U.S. business would account for about 40 per cent of the group in future "and offers huge development opportunities" as the market's fourth cable operator.

The company also indicated that it may not be finished with seeking growth in the U.S. through further acquisitions: Goei said in an interview with Reuters that Altice may look to expand once it has integrated its newly acquired cable assets, and could seek acquisitions in other areas such as telecoms, technology and media.

Indeed, Altice has never been a company to shy away from new challenges. In France, where conditions remain difficult, it is building a fully converged telecoms and media group under SFR, for example.

In the first quarter of 2016, Altice group revenue fell by 2.7 per cent year on year to €4.26 billion ($4.8 billion). Revenue in France fell by 6.1 per cent to €2.57 billion while international revenue grew by 1.3 per cent to €1.14 billion.

At the time, Goei said company was confident that it would be able to improve its position in France through its accelerated network investment programme, content-enriched service offering and operational improvements.

SFR recently announced its plan to buy Altice's 49 per cent minority stake in media company NextRadioTV and Altice Media Group France as part of a converged strategy to strengthen SFR's product offerings, aiming to reduce churn, increase ARPU and revenue growth.

For more:
- see the Altice management release
- see the Altice Cablevision release
- see this Reuters article

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