Drahi Steps Back Into Altice After Shares Drop & CEO Resigns

Altice’s CEO, Michel Combes,55, resigned from his role, which he held for about a year.

Patrick Drahi, the founder of Altice, rushed to reassert himself into an active role at multinational telecoms company, Altice NV. On Thursday November 9th, the company’s CEO Michel Combes,55, resigned from his role, which he held for about a year. The company announced his resignation, after a rough week in which shares of the phone and cable company shed one-third of their value, as reported by Bloomberg News.

Drahi, the billionaire who had served as President of the company from August 2015 to September 2016, was reinstated as President, with all units reporting to him. Dexter Goei, 46, also returned to his role as the company’s chief executive, a year after he moved on from the role. He will also remain in charge of the U.S. operations. Chief Financial Officer Dennis Okhuijsen will lead the European unit. Alain Weill will become CEO of the French unit, and Armando Pereira will be chief operating officer. “This structure represents a return to the core organization that created the success of the Altice Group,” the company said.

On November 2nd, Altice, which is the second largest telecoms company in France, disappointed investors with a profit warning, revealing debt of $57.8 billion net. The company was said to have a market capitalization of US$34 billion, in 2015. Reinstatement of the original leadership that built the company, is meant to reassure investors and infuse them with a renewal of trust in the company’s capability.

Some experts are warning that the restructuring of the reigns is only a symbolic alteration and will not mend the balance sheets. “This might sound like Altice is taking action but it changes nothing — the main problem at Altice is not one of management, but of an unsustainable capital structure,” said Saeed Baradar, senior managing director at Louis Capital Markets, in an email. “That is why the stock keeps going down!”

By: Hadassa Kalatizadeh

 

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