VimpelCom names former SFR head Jean-Yves Charlier as CEO

Russian operator VimpelCom appointed Jean-Yves Charlier as its new group CEO to replace Jo Lunder, who resigned his position with effect from Apr. 13, 2015.

Jean-Yves Charlier was previously the CEO of French mobile operator SFR, but stepped down in favour of Éric Denoyer following the company's acquisition from Vivendi by Altice to form Numericable-SFR.

VimpelCom, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and listed on NASDAQ, said Lunder is leaving the company to take up other opportunities, but will continue to serve as an adviser during the transition period through to Jul. 13, 2015.

Prior to joining SFR, Charlier held the role of CEO at Promethean, a specialist in interactive learning technologies, and Colt, an alternative fixed-line operator in the UK serving the business community. He started his career with Wang in France and also held senior executive positions with Equant and BT Global Services.

VimpelCom chairman Alexey Reznikovich said Charlier comes with an excellent track record of driving business performance.

"Jean-Yves is the right person to lead our company in the next stage of its development and at this exciting time of market opportunity, as we enter the digital world focusing on enhancing our customer relationships and providing innovative and exciting services across all of our markets," Reznikovich added.

Charlier will be taking on a company that has operations in 14 countries, including Italy where local unit Wind is going through a restructuring process to improve its financial basis.

On Friday, Wind Acquisition Finance (WAF) announced the pricing of an offering of €775 million ($820 million) senior secured notes, the proceeds of which will be lent by WAF to Wind Italy.

Wind will utilise these funds along with €500 million of the expected €693 million of proceeds from the previously announced planned sale of a 90 per cent stake in its towers subsidiary, Galata, and expected borrowings of €700 million under its new amended and restated senior facilities to refinance its existing senior facilities agreement

VimpelCom and Wind agreed the sale of Galata to Abertis Telecom Terrestre on Mar. 2.

For more:
- see this VimpelCom release on its new CEO
- see the Wind refinancing release

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