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Orange’s board of directors has appointed Christel Heydemann as chief executive officer of Orange with effect from 4 April 2022.

In appointing Christel Heydemann, Schneider Electric’s current Executive vice president Europe Operations, the Board has selected a candidate who is recognized for her experience in the telecoms sector and in managing business transformations.

To safeguard the continuity of the group’s operations and to ensure the smoothest possible transition, the board has asked Stéphane Richard to continue as chairman and CEO until Christel Heydemann takes up her role. Given the board’s decision to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, on the new chief executive’s arrival Stéphane Richard will continue in the role of non-executive chairman until a new chairman is in post and at the latest until 19 May 2022, the date of Orange’s annual general meeting.

The board underlined Stéphane Richard’s commitment to preserving the group’s strong governance thereby ensuring a smoothest possible transition to his successors. The board also thanked him for his dedication at the head of Orange over the past twelve years where he has restored employee confidence after the social crisis and embarked on a wide-ranging transformation of the group, positioning it as a leading multi-service operator in Europe and Africa.

Christel Heydemann is currently executive vice president Europe Operations and a member of the executive committee of Schneider Electric. A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, she began her career in 1997 at Boston Consulting Group. In 1999, she joined Alcatel where she was entrusted with a range of roles and responsibilities, specifically in the context of the merger of Alcatel and Lucent. In 2011, she was appointed to Alcatel-Lucent’s executive committee as director of Human Resources and Transformation. In 2014, she joined Schneider Electric as the director of Strategic Alliances and in April 2017 she was appointed as executive vice president of Schneider Electric France and subsequently Executive vice president Europe Operations in May 2021.

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