Former Alcatel-Lucent chief Michel Combes has been elevated to CEO of Altice, as the group announced a management reshuffle ahead of the closing of its acquisition of US player Cablevision.

Combes, who joined Altice as COO last year, will continue his day-to-day responsibilities and have all operating affiliates, country CEOs and corporate functions report to him. He will also join the board as a director, the firm said in a statement, .

Meanwhile, Dexter Goei will step down as CEO of Altice and become chairman and CEO of Altice USA, “in order to focus his leadership on the successful integration of Cablevision and Suddenlink within Altice and the further development of Altice USA as the dynamic growth platform in the group”.

Goei will also replace Patrick Drahi, founder and controlling shareholder, as president of Altice and continue to lead its global M&A related activities.

According to Financial Times (FT), the promotion of Combes, known in the industry for his ability to cut costs, “reflects his rising power and influence in the group since joining last year from Alcatel-Lucent”. The report added that Goei will face the “challenging” task of integrating Cablevision and Suddenlink.

“The new group management structure is reflective of the global presence of Altice centered around Europe and the US and ensures critical senior leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and best-in-class management in both regions,” the firm said in a statement.

As for Drahi, he will continue to set out the strategic, operational and technological agenda for the group and lead the newly formed advisory council.

“I am extremely excited about our US business which is accounting for approximately 40 per cent of our group and offers huge development opportunities,” he said, adding that “I look with full confidence into the future: the Altice Group has never been in a stronger position.”

The FT report also said Altice’s debt will grow to just over €50 billion by the end of this year from €1.7 billion in 2012, once the Cablevision deal, valued at $17.7 billion including debt, is complete.

Earlier this month, speaking before a parliamentary committee, Drahi said French consolidation is “not vital”, while arguing he could have pulled it off a year ago.