The horizon is clearing for Christel Heydemann at Orange

Frank Boulben took note of the positions of the stakeholders.

Christel Heydemann takes another step towards the general management of Orange. This weekend, Frank Boulben, one of the three candidates still in the running for the post, chose to withdraw from the process. According to our information, in an e-mail addressed to the administrators of the group, it “thanks the Orange Board of Directors“, but said to withdraw for”allow a serene decision of the board“, incriminating half-word the role of politicians in the case. The Élysée and Bercy have clearly expressed their support for the candidacy of Christel Heydemann, to the detriment of that of Frank Boulben and that of Ramon Fernandez.

At 47, the Vice-President Europe of Schneider Electric, polytechnician, engineer from Ponts-et-Chaussées, ticks many boxes. It corresponds very closely to the composite portrait of the perfect operational boss for the group “an engineer, with international experience, knowledge of the telecom sector, and who is a woman”. Of course, there are still voices to deplore his “lack of experience in consumer telecoms“, but it seems in very good voice to succeed Stéphane Richard at the head of Orange.

A few months interim

The series of the succession is however not closed. A board of directors has yet to ratify this choice. It should have been held on Monday 24, but was postponed to 28. “Details” still need to be refined, in particular concerning the remuneration of the future director. In addition, Stéphane Richard could take over for a few months. This point still needs to be clarified.

Then, a chairman will have to be appointed, to comply with the wish of the State shareholder to separate the two functions. Pascal Cagni, the former boss of Apple Europe, founder of the C4Venture investment fund and president of Business France would have received a lot of support. But again, the decision looks complicated. This hypothesis is still far from unanimous.

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