PARIS Vincent Bollore, a French industrialist and tycoon, will join the board of entertainment-to-telecom group Vivendi (VIV.PA) in which he is the second-biggest shareholder.
Bollore's appointment will need to be ratified at the company's next shareholder meeting, Vivendi said in a statement on Thursday.
The appointment, which had been expected and is likely to be approved by shareholders, may stoke investors' hopes that Bollore can influence Vivendi's ongoing strategy review.
Vivendi is working on selling assets, including telecom units in Brazil and Morocco, in an effort to reduce debt and streamline a conglomerate structure that has weighed down the shares.
Bollore is also expected by investors to back Vivendi's effort, now led by chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou, to reduce its exposure to the capital-intensive telecom business, while beefing up in music and pay-TV.
Bollore will replace outgoing director Jean-Yves Charlier, who was named director of the group's telecom activities in October, Vivendi said.
Pascal Cagni, the former general manager for Apple (AAPL.O) in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, was also appointed as an attending director of Vivendi's board.
Cagni's name had circulated among people close to the group over the summer as a potential candidate to replace the prior chief executive, who left in June over disagreements about the group's direction.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Leila Abboud; Editing by Christian Plumb and Elaine Hardcastle)