Posted Jan 28, 2022, 11:27 AMUpdated on Jan 28, 2022 at 12:34 PM
Unsurprisingly, the board of directors of Orange has chosen Christel Heydemann to become the group’s general manager, announced the current CEO, Stéphane Richard, in a message posted on Twitter. Aged 47, polytechnician, Christel Heydemann, already administrator of the group, will replace Stéphane Richard as general manager in early April, said a spokesperson for Orange. The State, which retains control of the main appointments in the governance of Orange thanks to its 23% stake, had supported its candidacy against those of Frank Boulben, one of the leaders of the American group Verizon, and Ramon Fernandez, the financial director of Orange.
Orange also announced that Stéphane Richard will continue, upon the arrival of the new CEO, to act as non-executive chairman – until the arrival of a new chairman and at the latest until May 19 2022, date of the group’s AGM.
Very happy to welcome Christel Heydemann, future CEO of Orange. A woman whose professional and human qualities will enable her to meet the challenges facing the Group, relying on our main asset: our teams, all over the world.
— Stephane Richard (@srichard) January 28, 2022
Stéphane Richard, whose mandate as CEO was due to expire next May, submitted his resignation in November after his conviction on appeal to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros in the arbitration case between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais, after having spent eleven years at the head of the company. Stéphane Richard, who at the time of the charges, in 2008, was chief of staff to the Minister of the Economy Christine Lagarde, denounced unfounded accusations and announced his intention to appeal to the Court of Cassation.
Experienced in the telecom sector
Christel Heydemann is a polytechnician broken in the telecoms sector who comes to feminize a little more the CAC 40, strong of fifteen years spent at Alcatel-Lucent. Also a graduate of the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, she had climbed all the levels of Schneider Electric since her arrival in 2014 at the French giant of equipment and solutions for energy, to the position of president of the group in France then director for Europe. Christel Heydemann had also already been a member of the board of directors of Orange since 2017.
With her appointment at the head of the group, she becomes the second woman to lead a CAC 40 company, along with the general manager of Engie, Catherine MacGregor. From July 1, the two leaders will be joined in this still very closed circle by Estelle Brachlianoff, who will become Chief Executive Officer of Veolia.
President of Gimélec (group of companies in the French digital electronics sector), Christel Heydemann is also a member of the National Council for Industry. This mother of two, experienced in social dialogue, had also co-piloted until June 2021 a government mission on the development of parental leave and the reconciliation of professional and family time, with sociologist Julien Damon.