The Wall Street Journal reported that sources believe the move was an endorsement of the view that Vivendi needs to get smaller and shave some of its assets; Levy has long been a supporter of maintaining Vivendi as a giant disconnected conglomerate.
Vivendi’s holdings consist of French phone company SFR, music label Universal Music Group, videogame giant Activision Blizzard, French TV company Canal Plus, and African phone company Maroc Telecom amongst other smaller pieces. Investors responded positively to the move, as Vivendi shares, were up 5.5% to 14.20 Euros after news broke of Levy’s departure, signaling that many believe Vivendi is on a smart course towards making the company smaller. Levy had been CEO for the last decade at Vivendi, and has been chairman of the company’s management board since 2005.
Levy is being replaced as chairman by Vivendi’s general counsel, Jean-Francois Dubos.