Mickael Boukobza, who brilliantly ruled for 7 years over the development of France's most disruptive player in the telecom arena, will quit by this summer. His successor took part in some of TF1's most exciting moves beyond its core business (TPS, Metro, production...). A protege of Patrick Le Lay, Maxime Lombardini leaves the TV giant just before his boss retires, and joins Iliad at a rather exciting moment : here, the whole business is about to venture in unknown territories.
free should easily reach its target of 2.8 M ADSL customers EOY 2007*, and 4 M EOY 2010 doesn't seem a totally farfetched goal... It's just that the competitive landscape and the nature of the job are bound to change with WiMAX and FTTH (not to mention 3G**). It's just that you'll have to be strong to make it in the convergent, troubled, boost or bust times ahead.
The capacity to deliver, but also to anticipate and to evolve quickly have been free's trademarks under Boukobza. Let's see if this survivor of the internet bubble manages to reach yet another level with a different player at the joystick.
* EOY 2006 : 2,278,000 - 75.9% undbundled - ARPU EUR 34.5
** see previous episodes : "3G license part III - France's fourth wedding or a funeral ?" (20070309) "3G & 4G - WiMAX flirts with ITU " (20070303) "Free WIMAX and quadruple play" (20051226)