Updated Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 10:18
The Court of Appeal of Paris condemns the executive to a one-year prison sentence and payment of 50,000 euros for participating in the Tapie case.
Orange President and CEO Stphane Richard..
Orange’s board of directors has accepted the resignation of Stphane Richard as president and CEO of the French operator, after the Paris Court of Appeal sentenced the executive to a one-year prison sentence exempt from compliance and payment of a fine of 50,000 euros for his participation in the multi-million dollar Tapie scandal.
Richard’s resignation will be effective once the new governance structure in the French operator has been appointed and, at the latest, by January 31, 2022, the company indicated, adding that Stphane Richard will continue in his position until that date. .
The Orange Board of Directors thanked Richard for his commitment to leading the company over the past 11 years, highlighting his contribution to the transformation of Orange into a leading multi-service operator in Europe and Africa.
“To all of my beloved Orange team, who have shown me their support and affection today, I want to express my deepest gratitude, and the pride that I have felt throughout these eleven years as your captain, on good and bad days. “Richard said in a message posted on his profile on the social network Twitter.
Stphane Richard was sentenced to one year in prison exempt from compliance and a fine of 50,000 euros for his participation in the so-called Tapie case, for which the then French Minister of Finance and now president of the European Central Bank (ECB) was also sentenced. Christine Lagarde.
According to the verdict, released to the French press and published in the daily Le Monde, the appeals court in charge of the case has annulled a judgment of a lower court that had acquitted the businessman. The sentence of one year in prison has been suspended, so the manager does not step on jail.
In a statement also released to the French media, Orange’s CEO has argued that the allegations of complicity in embezzlement of public money “are unfounded and not based on any evidence.” In addition, I anticipated that I would appeal this new verdict.
The French state is the main shareholder of Orange, with a participation of 22.95% among the shares held by the State Participation Agency (equivalent to the Spanish SEPI) and BpiFrance (equivalent to the ICO), which accumulate 13.39% and 9.56%, respectively.
Richard’s conviction refers to the executive’s involvement in what is known as the Tapie case. The case dates back to 1993, when businessman Bernard Tapie sold Adidas to the semi-public bank Crdit Lyonnais to thus join as a minister to the Executive led then by Franois Mitterrand.
In 2008, the former Minister Lagarde promoted an arbitration court that paid a compensation of 404 million euros to the businessman. Later, Lagarde, already in her position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was convicted of negligence for her actions in this case and Tapie was ordered to return the funds.
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