Government to replace Richard as France Telecom chief?

21 January 2013 | Kavit Majithia


France Telecom’s chief executive Stéphane Richard is to be replaced, according to local reports coming out from France.

The French government is presently embarking on a plan to replace Richard, who has been at helm of France Telecom since March 2011, and will be replaced by the former head of nuclear reactor market Areva.

Reuters cites a French newsletter, in which it suggests Richard will then be sent to lead French water, waste and energy company Veolia. Veolia has struggled to sell assets and cut debts under its present chief executive Antoine Frérot.

Ex-chief executive of Areva, Anne Lauvergeon, who led the company from 2001 to 2011, would then take over as CEO of France Telecom. Both France Telecom and Veolia did not comment.

The government holds a 27% stake in France Telecom, and traditionally, the choice of CEO is made by country’s President.