Appointments

Orange CFO Fernandez takes ship for another job

Ramon Fernandez.jpg

Orange group CFO Ramon Fernandez is to swap telecoms for container ships and freight aircraft.

The CFO has announced that he is to join CMA CGM, a shipping company based in Marseille, where he will also be CFO.

Fernandez said: “After such an exciting and stimulating period within Orange, I have decided to take on a new professional project outside the group. Orange is an extremely engaging company that can boast of the quality and commitment of its teams as its core strength.”

He said CMA CGM is “a group in full strategic development”. The company owns 47 vessels and is also expanding in air freight.

Orange CEO Christel Heydemann said of Fernandez: “He has played an essential role in the development of the company over recent years, in particular through his work on efficiency and value creation. We will continue to work together and in confidence over the coming weeks to finalize our next strategic plan. I wish him all the best in his future career.”

Fernandez, who is 53, is a previous director of the French Treasury before joining Orange eight years ago. But this year’s appointment of Heydemann to the top position in Orange probably means he cannot hope to win the top position in the telecoms group.

“With Christel, we will present the 2022 results next February,” he said, and he will leave at the end of March.

His departure from Orange is just the latest – but possibly the most significant – departure as Heydemann reshuffles her team. In May she confirmed Aliette Mousnier-Lompre as CEO of Orange Business Services, and this month promoted Aïcha Janan to be head of sourcing for the Americas, and Elisabeth Py as VP of green and radio networks.

In September Jérôme Barré left his role as CEO of Orange’s Wholesale & International Networks division. Paul de Leusse, CEO of Orange Bank, departed the group, as did Béatrice Mandine who had led communications, brand and engagement for 15 years.

CMA CGM is an amalgamation of the formerly separate Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement and Compagnie Générale Maritime. Its revenue in 2021 was US$56 billion, compared with Orange’s €42.5 billion ($45.2 billion).