Orange appoints France's treasury chief Ramon Fernandez as CFO

Orange filled two of its highest-ranking executive positions with financial and banking experts following its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, and also confirmed the mandate of CEO Stephane Richard for a further four years.

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Stephane Richard

Confirming earlier rumours, the French operator said Ramon Fernandez, who currently holds the position of director general of the French Treasury, will take on the positions of deputy CEO and chief financial officer with effect from September 1. His appointment is subject to the approval of the French state's Ethics Committee.

Also from this date, Laurent Paillassot will become deputy CEO and senior executive vice-president of customer experience and mobile banking. Paillassot has served as CEO delegate of financial services company LCL since May 2011.

"I am very pleased that these two very talented individuals will be contributing their invaluable skills to the group's executive committee. Ramon brings his widely recognised expertise in the financial world and Laurent's extensive experience in retail banking and customer satisfaction will be a real asset for the group," said Richard.

Current CFO and CEO delegate Gervais Pellissier will take over the management of the Europe zone, which includes the United Kingdom, replacing Benoit Scheen.

Orange commented that this appointment "will allow Orange to take full advantage of Pellissier's considerable experience at a time when the telecoms sector is undergoing widespread changes."

Indeed, while Orange continues to grapple with competitive issues on its domestic market following the arrival of Free Mobile's low-cost plans in 2012, the operator also faces considerable challenges across Europe and its markets in Africa and elsewhere. The company has already sold off some of its smaller units such as Orange Austria and Orange Dominicana, and recently announced it is selling Orange Uganda to Africell. The fact that it has turned to financial and business experts reflects its need to boost its expertise in these areas.

The Orange AGM also approved the proposal to extend Richard's mandate as CEO for a further four years until 2018.

For more:
- see this Orange release

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