Michel Combes, who is stepping down as Alcatel-Lucent SA’s chief executive officer, is starting at billionaire Patrick Drahi’s telecommunications company next week to help it run and integrate operations, people familiar with the matter said.
Combes will be chief operating officer of Altice NV, Drahi’s investment vehicle, and chairman of its Numericable-SFR unit, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the appointment hasn’t been made public yet. Combes, 53, has said he’ll leave Alcatel-Lucent on Sept. 1 as the French equipment maker is being taken over by Nokia Oyj.
At Altice, Combes will help run one of Europe’s most acquisitive telecommunications companies whose businesses include French cable and phone-service provider Numericable-SFR. At Alcatel, Combes relied on cost cuts to offset cooling sales, helping the company’s stock triple since he became CEO in 2013.
Altice CEO Dexter Goei said Friday the company, whose operations stretch from Israel to France and the Caribbean, has no clear acquisition opportunities at the moment.
Representatives for Altice and Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment. Combes didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
Le Figaro reported earlier that Combes is starting at Altice next week.