Orange Telecom CEO leaves after fraud case conviction

A successor is now being sought for Richard, who has been the top boss of Orange for ten years. He was given a suspended sentence of one year and must pay a fine of 50,000 euros.

Compensation 403 million

Richard has been found guilty of aiding the recently deceased former government minister and business magnate Bernard Tapie. He is said to have done so when he still held a high position at the French Ministry of Finance.

In a 2008 arbitration case, the ministry awarded Tapie €403 million in compensation for damages allegedly suffered as a result of the sale of Adidas to the bank Crédit Lyonnais in the 1990s.

Later, the French state went to court because the arbitration case in the conflict with the bank would have been broken.

Legal Haggling

What followed was years of legal wrangling. Tapie was eventually told on appeal that he had to return the millions of euros in compensation. But in 2019, he was acquitted of fraud by Paris judges.

It was also said at the time that there was no evidence that Richard had committed fraud. Tapie died early last month at the age of 78 from the effects of cancer.


A top official at the French Treasury Department said Richard should resign if he was convicted. Richard himself does not agree with the verdict and believes that he is being wrongly convicted. He plans to appeal to the French Supreme Court.

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