Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of SNCF, defends his record before senators after the announcement of his departure

At 11:30 a.m., the press release came from Bercy. Bruno Le Maire reserved the first time to announce, two and a half hours before the start of the hearing of the CEO of the SNCF by the senators, that the latter would be thanked after the Paralympic Games in Paris. The board of directors on April 25 adopted a resolution extending his mandate by two years, until he reached 68, the age limit for running the railway company. Everyone was waiting for a decision from the Elysée before the general assembly on May 13.

“At the end of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate will be informed by the President of the Republic of the name of the envisaged successor of Mr. Jean-Pierre Farandou, so that the interested committee of each of the assemblies decides under the conditions provided for by the fifth paragraph of article 13 of the Constitution”specifies the press release.

Like the president of ADP, Augustin de Romanet, the president of SNCF must organize the smooth running of the Olympic celebration at the head of a company which does not yet know its future boss.

A succession of tributes

Was Jean-Pierre Farandou sanctioned for having signed an end-of-career management agreement with four unions that was particularly advantageous for controllers, drivers and employees in difficult positions? This agreement does not only concern professions with staggered hours. It also allows other railway workers to retire nine months earlier with 75% of their remuneration (excluding bonus) for eighteen months or to benefit from a part-time organization under attractive conditions.

Read also | Bruno Le Maire criticizes the agreement signed at SNCF on career ends and summons Jean-Pierre Farandou

Bruno Le Maire denies this, praising the results of the boss of the SNCF, who successfully completed the Borne reform of 2018 and released, over the last two years, a profit exceeding a billion euros. He suggests that it will take several months, perhaps even beyond October, to find a replacement. “The age limit leaves us until 1er May 2025 »said the minister’s entourage.

Except that the Elysée would already have in mind the name of the next CEO: behind the scenes, the name of Xavier Piechaczyk, current chairman of the board of RTE, the electricity transport network, is circulating. A bridge, water and forestry engineer, he was deputy director of land transport services at the Ministry of Ecology. He especially met Emmanuel Macron, then deputy secretary general of the Elysée, when he was transport, housing and city policy advisor to Matignon. He was then an advisor at the Elysée when Mr. Macron, Minister of the Economy, passed his law creating the Macron coaches.

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