Spotlight On... Jean-Bernard Lévy, Vivendi chief executive
Say bonjour or, more correctly, au revoir to Jean-Bernard Lévy
Friday 29 June 2012
Why au revoir?
He is departing as chief executive of French media giant Vivendi, which owns the world's biggest record label, Universal Music, games firm Activision Blizzard and telecoms firms in France, Morocco and Brazil.
Sounds like a strange collection of businesses
Yes, it is a bit of a hodge-podge. Vivendi's shareholders are fed up with the €17.5bn (£14bn) company's performance under Mr Lévy, chief executive for seven years. Chairman Jean-René Fourtou has complained its shares are trading at a 40 per cent discount to the value of the separate assets.
Is a break-up on the cards for Vivendi?
Could be. "There are no taboos about how we will tackle this," says Mr Fourtou.
But is it Mr Levy's fault that Vivendi has such an unwieldly portfolio?
Not entirely. Predecessor Jean-Marie Messier went on an acquisition spree and left Vivendi on the brink of collapse with €19bn of debt.
How did Vivendi perform on Mr Levy's watch?
The shares are at nine-year lows, it paid a €765m penalty to Libery Media over a TV deal, and Mr Lévy was criticised for spending big to buy out Vodafone's stake in French telecom firm SFR last year.
Why hasn't a break-up been tried before?
There's the rub. Mr Lévy blocked Norwegian investor Alexander Vik's attempt to break up the company in 2006. Instead, Mr Levy continued with more acquistions.
Could Universal Music's takeover of rival label EMI be affected by Levy's exit?
Unlikely. Lucian Grainge, chief executive of Universal, is the driving force behind buying EMI's recorded music arm and is determined to pull it off.
What next for Mr Levy?
At 57, he is unlikely to reach for the pipe and slippers, with talk of a job in the US. He likes the limelight and writes his own blog: jeanbernardlevy.com.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...