Orange Group is reportedly on the verge of appointing a new chairman, as it moves ahead with plans to split the two top roles at the France-based operator that were both previously held by Stephane Richard.
Quoting unidentified sources, French newspaper Le Monde reported that Jacques Aschenbroich, who currently holds the position of chairman at French automotive supplier Valeo, is being lined up for the job.
The group’s board is expected to approve his nomination on 30 March, while shareholders are due to vote on the appointment at the AGM on 19 May, the paper added.
Orange has already selected Christel Heydemann as its new CEO with effect from 4 April. Richard has remained as non-executive chairman until a replacement is selected.
Orange announced last year that Richard was to leave the company, bringing down the curtain on 11 years at the helm after he was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence related to his time as part of the French government.
Richard resigned his mandate as chairman and CEO following the verdict by the Paris Appeal Court, although he has said he would appeal the decision.
The former Orange boss also served as chairman of industry association the GSMA, but was recently replaced by Telefonica chairman and CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete.
Le Monde reported that Orange had not exactly been overwhelmed by applicants for a job that required someone with enough experience to support Heydemann, but who would not step on her toes.
Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, was said to have favoured a female candidate. The shortlist had reportedly included Anne Bouverot, the former director general of the GSMA and a previous executive VP at Orange.
The newspaper also reported that Orange has moved to change its group statutes in order to allow its chairman to remain in post beyond the age of 70. Such a change, which has reportedly met with internal opposition, would benefit Aschenbroich as he turns 68 on 3 June.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back