05 January 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
French media group Vivendi – a major shareholder in Telecom Italia – has appointed the former CEO of Telefónica Brazil to a senior position.
Amos Genish, who integrated Telefónica
Brazil’s mobile business Vivo with its cable TV
and fixed network operator GVT, will be Vivendi’s
chief convergence officer, overseeing the group’s
convergence strategy between content, platforms and
He will be based in Paris – where Vivendi is based
– and London, said Vivendi in a statement. In November
2016 Vivendi increased its shareholding in Telecom Italia to 23%. It
is the largest single shareholder in Telecom Italia and has
long been seen as a potential buyer of the whole group.
It is a return to the Vivendi group for Genish, as he was CEO
of GVT before Vivendi sold it to Telefónica and
continued to lead the combined Brazilian business during the
Genish co-founded GVT as an alternative regional telecoms
operator in 1999 and led its expansion in the following years.
He led its share flotation in Brazil in 2007 and then its sale
to Vivendi in 2009 for $4.8 billion, and then its purchase by
Telefónica in 2014 for $9 billion
– by which time annual sales were running at $2
According to a Reuters’ report in October 2016,
Genish attained bigger-than-expected cost savings stemming from
Telefónica Brazil’s purchase of GVT.
Telefónica Brazil became the country’s most
profitable carrier in spite of a recession not seen in more
than eight decades.
His departure from Telefónica came as a surprise in
October, when commentators cited "personal reasons". At the
time Brazilian media, quoted by Reuters, thought he might be
going to Telefónica’s O2 UK.
At Telefónica Brazil he has been replaced by the
company’s chief commercial digital officer,
Eduardo Navarro de Carvalho, a former McKinsey