France Telecom loses top international exec

Jean-Yves Larrouturou, France Telecom's deputy chief executive in charge of international activities, is to leave the company. No exact date was given for his leaving but the company said it would be "in the coming months".

Larrouturou's departure comes at an interesting time for the French incumbent's international strategy. New CEO Stephane Richard, who took the helm at the beginning of March, appears less intent on grand slam deal-making than his predecessor Didier Lombard. One strand to the new strategy is to build up assets in emerging markets, particularly Africa and the Middle East.

Earlier this month the new CEO said France Telecom might spend up to Euro7 billion on acquisitions in the two regions over the next five years. The aim is to double revenues from emerging markets during that period, he said. In contrast, previous CEO Lombard unsuccessfully pursued a mega-merger with European peer Telia Sonera.

Within Europe, Richard is interested in merging some of France Telecom's assets outside its home market with rivals. This approach received an early setback last week when the Swiss regulator blocked the proposed merger of France Telecom's Orange with local rival Sunrise, which is owned by Danish incumbent TDC. Elsewhere, France Telecom is in the midst of a merger in the UK between Orange and local rival T-Mobile.

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Total Telecom

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