Sprint this week welcomed a new chief executive in French telecom veteran Michel Combes, who takes over for Marcelo Claure, now the company’s executive chairman.
Sprint marks the third CEO job in five years for Combes. And, with the Overland Park, Kansas-based wireless provider company navigating a merger with T-Mobile, it could mark his third severance deal in a row.
Combes collected severance packages after working as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent and later Altice NV, and analysts say he will be a caretaker for Sprint as the company tries to fold into a larger rival.
Combes disagrees with that assessment. He points to his decade with Orange/France Telecom and four years at Vodafone Europe and says he’s been “a long-term guy” at the companies he has managed.
That could become the case at Sprint if federal regulators reject the company’s merger, leaving Sprint alone to face three larger rivals.
Read more: Kansas City Star