New management for Iliad Telecom/Free as fixed base dips

French service provider Iliad Telecom/Free has named chief financial officer Thomas Reynaud as its new CEO, replacing Maxime Lombardini, who is stepping aside to take over as president of the group’s administrative board – in effect, chairman.

Lombardini replaces Cyril Poidatz, who becomes secretary-general of the group.

Reynaud’s appointment as CEO has been accompanied by a wider revamping of the group’s management team. Nicolas Jaeger, previously treasurer and head of investor relations, has been named as director of finance, while Camille Perrin has been appointed as director of marketing.

Other appointments include the naming of Shahrzad Sharvan as deputy secretary general, and Aude Mercier as director of human resources.

The changes come as Iliad prepares for the launch of its mobile offering in Italy this summer, and just before the group posted disappointing Q1 figures, including a drop in its fixed customer base.

Iliad Telecom said that the appointments, bringing together new talent with the company’s founders Xavier Niel, Rani Assaf, Antoine Levavasseur and Cyril Poidatz, would enable the company to take on new challenges and build on a new dynamic for growth.

Iliad has unveiled a new commercial strategy encompassing the launch of new boxes over the next four months, changes in its promotional offerings, embodied by the launch of its Very Free offering in March, the introduction of policies aimed at improving customer loyalty and retention, and a stronger segmentation of its distribution channels.

Iliad said it planned to increase the number of FTTH customers it had by between 300,000 and 500,000 this year, with an addition of about 500,000 FTTH subscribers a year targeted from 2019 onwards. It set a target of one million FTTH customers by the start of next year.

The company also said it would also accelerate the migration of low cost mobile customers to its Free 4G unlimited package.

The company had 646,000 FTTH customers at the end of Q1 out of a total of 6.5 million broadband customers, down slightly on the year end figure of 6.52 million. Iliad had 13.82 million mobile customers at the end of Q1.

The company posted revenues of €1.2 billion for Q1, up 0.8%, with a rise in mobile revenues offsetting a decline in fixed revenues. It blamed competition in the market for the performance of the fixed division, along with a negative impact from VAT on audiovisual services.

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