Vivendi names new management for SFR

PARIS Wed May 22, 2013 1:22pm EDT

The logo of Vivendi is seen during the company's 2008 annual results presentation in Paris March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The logo of Vivendi is seen during the company's 2008 annual results presentation in Paris March 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi has appointed Jean-Yves Charlier as chief executive of French telecome operator SFR, its largest unit, where profits are under pressure from a mobile price war.

Charlier, a former board member of Vivendi, has been piloting the group's telecom strategy since October as it seeks to sell telecom assets to focus more on media.

Vivendi also named Sandrine Dufour, who had been Vivendi's head of innovation and deputy CFO, as SFR's new chief financial officer, as well as a new six-member executive committee.

The moves come as Vivendi weighs a possible public listing or sale of SFR, which provided nearly 40 percent of group sales last year.

SFR, like larger rival France Telecom and smaller one Bouygues Telecom, has struggled with tougher competition since low-cost rival Iliad entered the French mobile market in January 2012.

SFR is expecting a 12 percent drop in its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization this year to 2.9 billion euros ($3.80 billion) as the price war continues. In January the company simplified its mobile offers and reduced prices again, and continues to cut costs in a bid to protect margins despite falling revenues.

(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Greg Mahlich)