Altice Revamps Management as Drahi Expands Cable Empire in U.S.

  • Michel Combes named CEO, Dexter Goi CEO of Altice USA
  • Billionaire Drahi to lead newly formed advisory council

Billionaire Patrick Drahi, Altice NV’s controlling shareholder, handed the reins of his holding company to two key deputies as the cable and telecommunications provider expands operations in the U.S.

Michel Combes, former chief executive officer of Alcatel-Lucent SA, will become CEO, effectively immediately, Altice said Monday in a statement. He replaces Dexter Goei, who will be chairman and CEO of Altice USA, as well as president of Altice NV, a role previously held by Drahi. Goei will focus on integrating U.S. cable carriers Cablevision Systems Corp. and Suddenlink Communications, the company said.

The changes reflect Altice’s growing global ambitions as it absorbs Cablevision, the $17.7 billion acquisition that’s expected to close this month. Drahi, who remains the controlling shareholder, will lead the newly formed Altice Group Advisory Council, overseeing a network of companies including French mobile-phone operator Numericable-SFR SA.

“Dexter Goei is well known in the United States,” Joffrey Ouafqa, fund manager at Auris Gestion Privée, said in a telephone interview. “His appointment is a clear sign from Altice for preparing future acquisitions in the United States.” 

Drahi, who doesn’t like to appear in organizational charts, will still be involved despite the management reshuffle, Oddo & Cie analyst Vincent Maulay said in an e-mail.

Combes joined Altice as chief operating officer in August, as Alcatel was sold to Nokia Oyj. He will also join the board of Altice NV.

Shares of Netherlands-based Altice closed up 5.8 percent to 14 euros in Amsterdam. The stock has climbed 5.7 percent this year, giving the company a market capitalization of 15.6 billion euros ($17.6 billion).

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