Orange CEO Stephane Richard (pictured) was acquitted of a decade-old allegation of complicity in fraud at a trial in Paris, ending a lengthy legal process which could have seen him lose his position at the helm of France’s largest operator.
Financial Times reported Richard, who also serves as chair of industry association GSMA, was cleared of all misconduct by the court. Prosecutors had called for a three-year jail term, a €100,000 fine and a ban on working for the state for five years.
The executive previously faced calls to resign from government ministers should he be found guilty. The state remains a major shareholder in Orange.
Allegations date back to Richard’s stint working for the French government as a chief of staff in the Finance Ministry more than ten years ago.
Accusations surrounded any role he played in a €403 million compensation payment made by the French state to businessman Bernard Tapie. The payment was later annulled and an order issued to return the funds to authorities.
In 2018, Richard was given another four years at the helm of Orange, having served in the role since 2011. He was appointed chair of the GSMA in November 2018.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back