Vodafone’s executive, Michel Combes has been named as the new chairman and CEO of French mobile operator SFR.
Emeka Obiodu, telecoms strategy analyst at Ovum, believes this will give the French operator the broader perspective it has been missing:
“There are two conspicuous points in the appointment of Michel Combes as the CEO of SFR. Firstly, here is a man who knows the French telecoms market well having served as the Chief Financial Officer for France Telecom in the past. Secondly, Mr Combes has now embellished that experience by overseeing a multinational telecoms business at Vodafone.
“At SFR, each of these experiences will provide critical insights. Like its peers in France, SFR is facing immense pressures from the entry of Free into the market. As such, a solid understanding of the French market is necessary for the CEO.
“But Free, and the emergence of OTT players as threats, cannot just be dealt with as a local French problem. And so, having overseen Vodafone’s operations across Europe, Combes would be sufficiently exposed to the challenges facing the global telecoms industry with experiences of how different countries have coped. This is his key asset for SFR.”