Christel Heydemann, new boss of Orange, will have to launch several great yards

This 47-year-old Polytechnic has been appointed on Friday at the head of the telecommunications operator, instead of Stéphane Richard. Among the yards it will have to engage in the transformation of the company and its trades.


For the first time in the history of Orange, a woman will lead the group. Convened at 9 o’clock, Friday, January 28, the board of directors of the Ex-France Telecom approved the appointment of Christel Heydemann to the General Management. The current Schneider Electric leader in Europe will take office on the 1st of April, instead of Stéphane Richard. The latter, in position since 2010, had not planned to let go of orders as early. But his condemnation on appeal in the Capie case, on November 24, 2021, precipitated the search for a successor.

Because if Stéphane Richard is not prevented in his duties, the state, the first orange shareholder with 23% of the capital, saw not how he could continue to lead the telecommunications operator after such conviction, who More is when the group needed a new breath. Its turnover, indeed, has increased by 4% since 2016.

Apart from a passage at Alcatel-Lucent between 2011 and 2013, and a seat on the board of Orange since 2017, Christel Heydemann is not a telecom specialist. It is precisely the new eye of this 47-year-old polytechnic, with the support of the Shareholder State, to outstanding other contenders, including internal, such as the Chief Financial Officer, Ramon Fernandez, or the boss of ‘Orange France, Fabienne Dulac. His social fiber also played in his favor, for a group still profoundly marked by the “suicide crisis” of 2008-2009, and then that the CEO’s appeal trial of the time, Didier Lombard will open in May, and several frames.

pressure of other operators

Daughter of a central engineer and a normal college professor, “Christel explains to have made Polytechnique because she had facilities in mathematics and physics”, says Julien Damon, Scientific Advisor of the National School School social security. This one learned to know her on the occasion of the writing of a Report on the “French model of conciliation between children’s life, life of the parents and life of companies”, delivered in 2021 to the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne. A subject to which the old HRD, mother of two young boys born from his union with André Loekrug-Pietri, director of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (Jedi), an initiative that federates research centers, start-ups and technology groups, in France and Germany. “But Christel loves to make organizations live. She has the qualities for”, assures Julien Damon. “She has invested and understood very quickly a complicated file that was not in her usual spectrum.”

You have 62.82% of this article to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports.