Misuse of $450 million in public funds could topple Orange CEO | latest news

The CEO of Orange, France’s largest telecommunications company, Stéphane Richards, said that the issue of his continuation in his position was left to the company’s board of directors.

The Paris Court of Appeals had given Stéphane Richards a one-year suspended prison sentence for complicity in the misuse of public funds.

The Court of Appeal fined Richard, who denied illegal acts, €50,000, knowing that he was acquitted at the first trial.

Richard said in a statement that he would appeal the court’s ruling, which gave him a one-year suspended prison sentence, adding that it was “extremely unfair”.

“I place my mandate in the hands of the Orange Board of Directors,” he continued.

For his part, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that heads of state companies should resign if convicted of illegal charges.

Reuters had quoted sources as saying that it would be difficult for Richard, who has denied any wrongdoing, to keep his job.

Richard made it clear that he will not seek to remain in the CEO position at the end of his third term, which is four years, which ends in May 2022, but he is keen to remain in the position of chairman of the board.

tabby case

The case relates to the payment of 400 million euros (about 450 million dollars) by the French state to the late businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

The “Tappe Affair” relates to the sale of shares in Adidas by the recently deceased former owner, Bernard Tappe. The French bank, Credit Lyonnais, had bought the shares and was later sued by Tapie.

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Tapie accused the bank of defrauding him by undervaluing the company. However, the decision was later overturned and a French appeals court ruled in December 2015 that Tabi must return the compensation.

The case turned into a case of embezzlement of public funds because the compensation came in the end from the state treasury.

At the time, Richard was chief of staff for then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who is now president of the European Central Bank.

Lagarde, who has also denied any wrongdoing, was found guilty of negligence in the case in December 2016.

Judge Sophie Clement said Richard “committed dangerous acts by favoring the interests of Bernard Tapie over the interests of the state”.


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