France Télécom CEO resigns

France Télécom chairman and chief executive officer Michel Bon resigned yesterday. He submitted his resignation to the French...

France Télécom chairman and chief executive officer Michel Bon resigned yesterday. He submitted his resignation to the French government during a meeting of the company's board of directors, but will continue as interim chairman and CEO until a replacement is named.

The resignation will become effective at a board meeting in the next few weeks at which his replacement will be named. Bon's replacement will submit to the board a financial restructuring plan to free the company of its heavy debt load of almost £44bn.

The government will support France Télécom in implementing the plan and provide funding in accordance with market conditions. In the meantime, it will take steps if necessary to help the company avoid financial problems. The government owns 56.3% of France Télécom.

When France Télécom announced its half-yearly revenue in July, chief financial officer Jean-Louis Vinciguerra said the company would continue with a series of divestitures and was negotiating with the government over debt refinancing measures, which could include bond sales.

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