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Troubled Atos Origin replaces CEO with ex-French government minister

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Troubled IT services firm Atos Origin has replaced its CEO to try to boost its fortunes.

The company has appointed Thierry Breton, an ex-French government minister, as the new CEO. He replaces Philippe Germond who has left the company.

Germond has overseen slower sales growth at the company and has been forced to fight off a shareholder revolt over the running of the company.

Breton was deputy general manager and then chief operating officer of Bull group from 1993 to 1996, CEO of Thomson group from 1997 to 2002, and CEO of France Telecom from 2002 to 2005.

Breton was minister of economy and finance in France from February 2005 to May 2007.

Atos said Breton was appointed to "allow the company to accelerate the roll-out of its transformation plan, refocus on key businesses and reinforce its market share".

Breton said, "I am very glad to join a European group with solid positionings across promising markets in 40 countries, with more than 50,000 staff whose technical skills and professionalism are recognised worldwide. The company has stable shareholders with great and legitimate ambitions for its development."

Atos is committed to making further savings on staff costs as part of its ongoing group cost-cutting programme.

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