France Telecom chief axed

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France Telecom chairman, Marcel Roulet, is to be ousted from his post and replaced by Francois Henrot, the chairman of Cie Bancaire. The change has been expected because of a clash between Mr Roulet and minister Francois Fillon over the future of the company and the prospects for privatisation.

Mr Fillon said yesterday that the Government would retain a majority stake in France Telecom but would reform its statutes to increase its competitiveness. He said that Mr Henrot would take over at the helm in preparation for the changes.

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