Orange ‘chooses auto parts chief to chair company’, report says

The newspaper The world says Orange’s governance committee chose Aschenbroich yesterday, and adds that it will be confirmed by the full board next Wednesday.

Aschenbroich (photo, CC BY-SA 3.0, Olivier Vallet) will lead Orange with new CEO Christel Heydemann, who will take office on April 4, says the newspaper, whose sources say Heydemann played a role in choosing the new chairman. The worldThe source told her, “She was involved in the whole selection process.”

Most of his career has been spent in the construction materials group Saint Gobain, but 35 years ago he was technical adviser in industrial affairs to Jacques Chirac when he was Prime Minister of France. His current company, Valeo, includes automotive brands such as Ferodo.

Heydemann and Aschenbroich together replace Stéphane Richard, who left following his conviction in a fraud trial for embezzlement of public funds. Orange’s Board of Directors has decided to separate the functions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Today’s newspaper report suggests that Bruno Le Maire, France’s economy minister, was looking to nominate a woman for president but could not find a suitable candidate.

It appoints among the candidates who appear on the short list Anne Bouverot, a former executive of Orange who then became general manager of the GSMA, the association of the mobile industry. Bouverot now runs Technicolor.

Orange shareholders will have the last word on Aschenbroich at their general meeting on May 19.

Aschenbroich is 67, and Orange is changing its rules so that a president can stay in office past the current age limit of 70. Le Monde recalls that the operator encourages its employees to retire from the age of 57.

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