Vivendi hires Jean-Yves Charlier to oversee telecoms businesses

Vivendi hires Jean-Yves Charlier to oversee telecoms businesses

A former chief executive of Colt Telecom and head of BT’s European operations, Jean-Yves Charlier, has been appointed by French media group Vivendi to oversee its international telecoms businesses.

Charlier, who is CEO of interactive learning company Promethean, will be focussed on Vivendi’s three telecoms businesses, France’s SFR, Brazil’s GVT and Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.

He joins at a time when the group is considering asset disposals or spin-offs to reduce its €14 billion debt.

Vivendi is already said to be facilitating the sale of GVT, having reportedly hired advisors for a full or partial sale or even an IPO.

The media group has also hired Bertrand Méheut as head of its pay TV company, Canal Plus. He will take charge of a strategic review of Vivendi’s media operations including Universal Music Group and its stake in Activision Blizzard, which is also being put up for sale.

There has been some market speculation that both men are being considered for the role of CEO at Vivendi, based on their performance. Vivendi chairman Jean-René Fourtou has yet to replace Jean-Bernard Lévy, who departed at the end of June.

Vivendi has also appointed Stéphane Roussel, as permanent CEO of SFR after he took temporary charge of the company. The French operator has been engaged in a financially damaging domestic price war after the launch of low cost mobile operator Free earlier this year.

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