He appealed in cassation but will not remain at the head of the telecoms giant. Sentenced to one year in prison and a 50,000 euro fine for complicity in the embezzlement of public funds in the Tapie affair, the CEO of Orange Stéphane Richard, at the time chief of staff of the Minister of the Economy Christine Lagarde, presented her resignation to its Board of Directors (CA), which met on the evening of Wednesday, November 24.
At the end of the meeting, the board said in a statement to take note of Mr. Richard’s decision. His departure will be effective as from the establishment of a new governance, no later than January 31. The board of directors also said that it was continuing the research process started a few months ago in order to put in place a new governance.
Contested reactions from unions
Earlier in the day, the Orange unions had reacted in a contrasting manner to the conviction of Stéphane Richard, oscillating between calls for resignation and the need to guarantee the continuity of the governance of the telecoms giant.
“We have known presidents disembarked overnight for various crises: financial, social … We do not necessarily want to go through this period again”, declared on BFM Business the president of the first union of the CFE-CGC Orange group, Sébastien Crozier. In the same vein, the CFDT, the group’s second union, recalled “Its commitment to maintaining the stability of the company in the interest of all employees”.
For its part, SUD-PTT, which has a representative on the Board, had estimated in a press release that Mr. Richard should “Immediately resign from his duties as CEO of the Orange group”.