The CEO of French operator SFR has resigned for “personal reasons” as the company continues to try and improve its operational performance.

Michel Paulin (pictured) will be replaced in his position by Michel Combes, Altice CEO and SFR Chairman, after leading the company since January 2016.

The company did not specify whether Combes, a former CEO of Vodafone Europe and TDF, would take on the role permanently or whether a replacement would be sought.

Combes has appointed Alain Weill, CEO of SFR Media and Head of Altice’s Media activities, to help with integrating SFR’s telecoms and media assets, including last year’s acquisition of NextRadioTV.

Michel Combes highlighted Paulin’s “total commitment to the company...expertise and leadership”, adding he had laid the groundwork for the company's ongoing transformation project.

“Alain Weill, the whole SFR management team and myself are fully committed to pursuing the transformation of the company, which we initiated a few months ago, to improve operational performance and prepare the next stages of the Group’s development,” Combes added.

Prior to SFR, Michel Paulin worked at France Telecom, Morocco’s Meditel and as a strategy consultant for McKinsey. He was CEO of Neuf Cegetel before it merged with SFR in 2008.

He thanked the company and its executives for their support and expressed his regret at having to leave the company in the middle of its “marvellous industrial adventure, definitely the most ambitious and sophisticated in Europe’s telecom and media industry”.

SFR is currently undertaking a major investment in its networks, upping its LTE coverage by 17 percent in 2016, as well as targeting convergence of telecoms with media and advertising, and digitalising the customer experience.

The company is set to take the name of holding company Altice as part of a worldwide rebranding project.

In the second quarter of 2017 SFR saw sales down 0.4 percent to €2.76 billion, while EBITDA fell 4.6 percent to €953 million.

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