Orange entrusts its presidency to Jacques Aschenbroich

Favorite from the start, Jacques Aschenbroich won the race for the Orange presidency. The candidacy of the current president of Valeo was selected on Thursday March 24 by the board of directors of the telecom operator, was informed The world† His appointment will be submitted to the directors for approval on March 30. The shareholders will then have to vote at the general meeting on 19 May.

Mr Aschenbroich will replace Stéphane Richard, whose term as chairman expired in May and who had to give up his candidacy for four years. due to his conviction on appeal in November 2021 in the Tapie case† Mr. Aschenbroich will lead Orange together with Christel Heydemann, the future CEO, who will take office on April 4. “She was involved in the entire selection process”says a nearby source.

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Orange was not inundated with applications for a position that required a sufficiently experienced leader to bring Heydemann, 47, but not too young to avoid the risk of encroaching on her toes. Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy, would have liked a 100% female management duo. Anne Bouverot, the president of Technicolor, has long been on the short list maize “her previous experience at Orange, led by former CEO, Didier Lombard, played against her”, decrypts a close to the file. The name of Patricia Barbizet, former director of Artémis, the holding company of the Pinault family, was also mentioned.

Employee concerns

As it became more likely that the appointment of Mr Aschenbroich raised tensions with the telecom operator. Orange employee-shareholders, holders of 7% of the capital and 11% of the voting rights, were publicly moved on March 14 by the group’s plan to amend the articles of association to allow the future president to remain in office even after the age limit of 70, a provision from which Mr. Aschenbroich will be able to take advantage. He will turn 68 on June 3.

Without naming the former CEO of Valeo, employees were concerned that the chairmanship could be entrusted to a “septuagenarian while the stakes” telecommunications “younger leaders needed”† They were also surprised that Orange is rolling out the red carpet to a president who is almost 70 years old, while at the same time encouraging its employees to retire at the age of 57. They announced at the general meeting that they would vote against the resolution to amend the articles of association.

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