Stéphane Richard

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Stéphane Richard
Stéphane Richard at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 003.jpg
Stéphane Richard at the 37th G8 summit in Deauville, France (2011)
Born (1961-08-24) 24 August 1961 (age 57)
Caudéran, France
EducationHEC Paris
OccupationCEO Orange
PredecessorDidier Lombard

Stéphane Richard (born 24 August 1961) is a French businessman and the Chief Executive and Chairman of the worldwide mobile phone network Orange.

Early life[edit]

Stéphane Richard was born in Caudéran in the Gironde department in Aquitaine (South-West France), on 24 August 1961.

He is the son of an engineer.

He studied at École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC Paris) and École nationale d'administration in Strasbourg.[1]


French government[edit]

From 2007 until 2009 he was Chief of Staff to the French Minister for the Economy, Industry, and Employment, now the Minister of the Economy, Finances and Industry.


He joined Orange in September 2009, becoming Deputy Chief Executive.

He became Chief Executive of Orange S.A. on 1 March 2011.

Personal life[edit]

He was awarded the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur) in 2006.[2] In 2007 there were rumors of an imminent arrest warrant for tax fraud.[3]

2015 statement of "intention to withdraw from Israel"[edit]

In June 2015, Stéphane Richard said in Egypt, that he would like to withdraw the Orange brand from Israel as soon as possible, but that the move would take time. “Our intention is to withdraw from Israel. It will take time” but “for sure we will do it,” he said. “I am ready to do this tomorrow morning… but without exposing Orange to huge risks.”[4]

In response, a wide range of Israeli politicians condemned his statements and called on the French government to oppose antisemitism. Miri Regev said: "On the backdrop of the recent serious events in France, the French government must show zero tolerance for anti-Semitism," said Regev, in reference to the growing wave of anti-Semitic violence in the France that was highlighted in January by a Muslim holding a kosher supermarket hostage in Paris and murdering four Jews. "I call on Jews of France and the world to disconnect from Orange unless Stephane Richard takes back his words. The time has come for them to understand that Jews in the world and sane voices that oppose anti-Semitism and racism also have power."[5] Yair Lapid said of Richard, ““This is hypocrisy of the highest order... Israel is an island of sanity in the world's toughest neighborhood, and we are not prepared to be lectured on morality from Europeans who live a quiet, untroubled life.”[6]

Israel's president Reuvin Rivlin said of Stéphane Richard: "Disturbingly, I have yet to hear condemnations from France's heads of state of the statements by the CEO of France Telecom like those I heard from Britain, and I expect their voices to be heard here in Israel, in Cairo, and the entire world."[7]

Richard rejected the accusation of antisemitism and went on the record to say, "We [Orange] love Israel. This has absolutely nothing to do with the kind of political debate in which I don't want to be." He said that the decision to withdraw from Israel was purely a business decision, not a political decision. The decision was to disallow companies to license the Orange brand that does not use Orange's services, which is the practice of the Israeli company Partner. Orange plans not to renew its contract with Partner once the terms of the contract are complete.[8] Richard also said that Orange has connections in Israel in other capacities aside from their deal with Partner and that they intend to keep and foster these relationships.[9]

On 5 January 2016 Partner officially announced that it is severing ties with France's Orange and is receiving €90 million compensation from Orange for the damaging comments by Orange CEO Stephane Richard.[10]


  1. ^ "B20 BUSINESS SUMMIT - Guests / Companies".
  2. ^ Digiworld Summit 2014, Profile of Stéphane Richard
  3. ^ Digiworld Summit 2007, investigation of Stéphane Richard
  4. ^ Mobile giant Orange seeking to join Israel boycott, CEO says BY AFP AND TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF June 3, 2015,
  5. ^ After CEO's Anti-Semitism, Orange 'Dumps' Israel By Nitsan Keidar, Ari Yashar First Publish: 6/4/2015, Arutz Sheva
  6. ^ Lapid: Orange CEO Has 'A Lot of Chutzpah' By Moshe Cohen First Publish: 6/4/2015, Arutz Sheva
  7. ^ Israel tells France: Condemn Orange CEO's support for boycott Attila Somfalvi and Itamar Eichner Latest Update: 06.04.15, 15:16, ynetnews
  8. ^ Eichner, Itamar. "France opposed to boycott of Israel." Ynetnews. 5 June 2015. 5 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Richard: Orange 'in Israel to stay.'" Ynetnews. 6 June 2015. 6 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Partner is receiving €90 million compensation for the damaging comments by Orange CEO Stephane Richard." Globes.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Didier Lombard
Chief Executive of Orange S.A.
March 2011 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Didier Lombard
Chairman of Orange S.A.
March 2011 –
Succeeded by