Christel Heydemann to lead Orange as CEO

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New Delhi – Paris: Orange’s Board of Directors has appointed Christel Heydemann as the company’s new CEO with effect from 4 April 2022.

Board selected Heydemann after the members met on 28 January based on her experience in the telecoms sector and in managing business transformations.

Currently, Christel Heydemann is Schneider Electric’s EVP of Europe Operations and a member of the Executive Committee of Schneider Electric. She will succeed Orange’s Chairman and CEO Stephane Richard from 4 April.

The appointment of Heydemann comes following the Board’s decision to separate the roles of Chairman and CEO in the company. Given the decision, Richard will continue as Chairman and CEO until Heydemann takes the charge of the company.

He will hold the position of non-executive Chairman until the appointment of a new chairman. He will continue in the role until 19 May 2022, the date of Orange’s annual general meeting (AGM).

“I am delighted to welcome Christel Heydemann and wish her full success as CEO of Orange. Working alongside the Group’s employees, I am convinced that her personal and professional qualities will enable her to meet the challenges the future holds for the Group,” said Stéphane Richard.

“Christel’s involvement as a Board member and her long experience at Alcatel and then Schneider Electric means she has an excellent understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the digital future and the critical role this will play in the decades ahead. I am certain that her vision, her pragmatism and her ability to bring out the best in every situation will be of enormous value to Orange,” continued Richard.

“Finally, I would also like to thank Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner and Bernard Ramanantsoa for their exemplary and rigorous work throughout the selection process in the best interests of the Group,” commented Richard.

“I would like to thank the Board members for their confidence. As a member of the Board for nearly five years, I have gained a solid understanding of the technological challenges and opportunities that lie before us,” said Christel Heydemann.

“I know that these are significant, but it is equally a huge honour to be able to contribute to the development of one of the leading players in our industry and Orange will have my total commitment as we set about this task. I also know I can count, as my predecessor has been able to, on the dedication of all the company’s teams to see Orange through to success,” added Heydemann.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my colleagues at Schneider Electric. These past seven years building a more durable world through technological innovation have been truly exciting and have further convinced me of the central role that digital will play in the transformation of our society,” emphasized Heydemann.

Heydemann has graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. She began her career in 1997 at Boston Consulting Group and two years later joined Alcatel and led many roles and responsibilities, specifically in the context of the merger of Alcatel and Lucent.

In 2011, Heydemann 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. Three years later in April, she took the charge as EVP of Schneider Electric France and subsequently EVP of Europe Operations in May 2021.

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