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Heydemann on course to become first woman to lead Orange – sources


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Christel Heydemann, head of Schneider Electric France, attends the third annual tech conference “Inno Generation” organized by French investment bank Bpifrance at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, October 12, 2017. Picture taken October 12,

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By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) -Orange, France’s biggest telecoms operator, is on course to name Christel Heydemann as its new chief executive, making her the first woman to lead the former monopoly amid a revamp of its governance, two sources said on Sunday.

The board of Orange, on which Heydemann has sat since 2017, is scheduled to meet on Friday to formally appoint her as the new boss, the sources close to the matter added.

Heydemann, who currently heads European operations at French electric equipment group Schneider Electric (PA:), was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

A graduate of France’s elite engineering school Polytechnique, Heydemann, 47, will replace Stephane Richard at the helm of the state-controlled group after a court convicted him of complicity of misuse of public funds.

Richard, who has led Orange for the past 12 years, denies any wrongdoing.

Heydemann’s name has been circulating for days in the French press and presented as the favoured candidate of France’s finance ministry, which holds sway over the governance of Orange, in which the state owns a combined 23% stake.

France’s weekly JDD was first to report Heydemann’s likely appointment at a board meeting on Friday.

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