Michel Combes joins Sprint as president and CFO

Sprint announced the appointment of telecom veteran Michel Combes as president and chief financial officer as part of the telecom operator’s turn-around strategy.

Michel Combes, who earlier worked with telecom and cable operator Altice and telecom equipment major Alcatel-Lucent, will report to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. Michel Combes will be joining the Sprint’s Board of Directors at a later date.

Sprint said Michel Combes will support Marcelo Claure and senior leadership team as the company enters a new phase of transformation to deliver profitable growth. He will be responsible for leading the company’s financial operations, strategy and continued cost transformation.

Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati will leave the company on January 31.

Before joining Sprint, Michel Combes served as CEO, and previously chief operating officer, of Altice N.V.

Before that, he was the chairman and CEO of SFR Group, a French telecom and media company.

During his tenure he led the company through the integration of newly acquired U.S. businesses, developed significant partnerships and media rights to bring exciting and in-demand content to its customers.

Combes delivered two of the most successful turnarounds in the telecommunications industry in recent history.

In 2013 Michel Combes joined Alcatel-Lucent when the company was near bankruptcy. As CEO, he helped strengthen the company and orchestrated its sale to Nokia.

From 2003 to 2006, Combes held various senior financial positions with France Telecom, including CFO and senior executive vice president for Financial Rebalancing and Value Creation. When he joined France Telecom was the second most indebted company worldwide in terms of short-term liabilities.

During his tenure, he oversaw the operational transformation of France Telecom and led financial restructuring of the business which allowed the struggling company to rebrand as Orange, now the largest fixed and wireless telecommunications operator in France.

Michel Combes has also served as CEO of Vodafone Europe and chairman and CEO of TDF, a French tower company. Michel Combes also served as an advisor to Brightstar, the company founded by Claure, to support its global expansion. Michel Combes is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Telecom ParisTech.