Sprint on Thursday named Altice CEO Michel Combes as its next president and chief financial officer.
Combes will assume his new position effective Saturday and replace current CFO Tarek Robbiati, who will leave the company at the end of the month. Sprint officials lauded Combes as a “turnaround strategist” who helped guide debt-ridden France Telecom and a nearly bankrupt Alcatel-Lucent prior to joining Altice.
He also served as CEO of Vodafone Europe, French media company SFR Group and French tower company TDF. He will relocate to Sprint’s native Kansas City area and will be appointed to the company’s board of directors at a later date.
“Michel is an extremely capable and accomplished global telecom and cable industry leader and I know bringing him on board will help to accelerate our progress as Sprint begins the next chapter of our transformation,” CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement.
Combes’ appointment comes as Sprint plots its future after merger talks with rival U.S. carrier T-Mobile broke down in November. Robbiati will be the second Sprint executive to depart in subsequent weeks, joining COO of Technology Günther Ottendorfer.
Analysts said the move fueled continued concerns about Sprint’s need to invest in its network as well as cut costs.
“We believe Robbiati did a very impressive job as to what he was tasked to do — lower the company’s cost of capital,” Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note. “However, at this point in Sprint’s evolution we believe Combes’ turnaround expertise will be well served.”