08/25/1967Place of birth :
Maisons-Alfort (94) - FranceCountry of residence :
FranceLinked companies : Iliad SA
- Iliad Africa Limited
Xavier Niel, born in 25 August 1967 is a French entrepreneur and businessman, active in the telecommunications and technology industry and best known as founder and majority shareholder of the French Internet service provider Iliad trading under the Free brand. Xavier Niel also owns a part of the french newspaper Le Monde.
In 2011, Xavier Niel was the 8th richest french man with a fortune estimated at $ 3,7 billion.
After short studies, Xavier Niel gives up his prepa math sup to work in the Minitel Rose (a Minitel service company). He creates and manages himself the servers which allows him to win money.
In 1993, he founded Worldnet, the first Internet Service Provider in France that he sold in 2000. In 1997, he had the idea of creating 3617 Annu, the first reversed directory, which was immediately successful.
In 1999, he created Free, a French Internet service provider. In 2002, Free launched a broadband package at a low price (€ 29.99 per month), which became the benchmark in the market. At the same time, Free developed and launched the Freebox: the first triple-play multi-service box in France.
With his two associates, Olivier Rosenfeld, chief financial officer and Michael Boukobza, CEO of Iliad, Xavier Niel decided the IPO of Free in 2004. In 2005, Iliad-Free showed a capitalization of 2.3 billion euros.
While the strategy of internet providers is focusing on acquisitions and mergers, Xavier Niel only swears by intern development.
In 2008, he has the opportunity to buy Alice ADSL, he hesitates and then finally does it which allows him to get more than 950 000 subscribers. He becomes number two on the market before Neuf-SFR. Actually Alice-Free hold 26% market share.
In January 2008, Free finally gets the license for 3G as expected, a big luck even if it is restrictive, because limited to 10 million subscribers.
In late 2010 Niel was a member of a group of investors which acquired a controlling stake in the newspaper Le Monde.
On January 10, 2012, Free launched its mobile offers. These offers are unparalleled at discount prices and without engagement(unlimited pack at 19.99 €).
Xavier Niel finances (ten million euros) Free Foundation which allows for buildings already connected to fiber, to offer free Internet access, tv channels (TNT) and a phone service that allows them to make and receive emergency calls.
LES 100 MOTS DE L'INTERNET by Xavier Niel and Dominique Roux. Editions PUF (2008. In french
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