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Having completed integrating Orange within FT, Sanjiv Ahuja, executive VP of Personal Communication Services and Orange CEO, steps down
April 26, 2007
PARIS -- France Telecom announces today that having completed his mission to integrate the Orange business within the Group and position Orange as the single brand for the Group's converged telecommunications services, Sanjiv Ahuja, Executive Vice President of Personal Communication Services and Orange CEO has informed the company of his intention to relinquish his executive positions at the Group to pursue a series of new ventures. He will maintain his links with France Telecom as Chairman of Orange UK and as an advisor to the Group's Chairman and CEO Didier Lombard. France Telecom will also become a partner in one of Sanjiv Ahuja's new ventures which will target emerging markets.
Sanjiv Ahuja joined Orange in April 2003 as Chief Operating Officer, and was appointed Orange SA CEO in March 2004. Since then, the Group has increased the number of countries in which it operates from 17 to 23 and has more than doubled the number of its mobile customers from 48 million to over 100 million worldwide today. Sanjiv has also overseen the successful extension of the Orange brand from its mobile origins so that it now embraces the Group's broadband, fixed line and IPTV services in its largest markets.
Sanjiv Ahuja commented: "My years with Orange have been among the most exciting and fulfilling of my career. Right from the first phase in which we completed the full integration of Orange with France Telecom, it has been my privilege to work with an incredibly talented team across the entire Group that has effectively blazed a trail for the industry with the integration of all our businesses. After four great years with Orange, the time is now right for me to move ahead with a series of new ventures with the aim of exploring some of the fascinating opportunities that I believe this sector still holds. I'm also delighted to be maintaining my links with France Telecom in this context and I'd like to take this opportunity to pay a particular tribute to Didier Lombard whose vision of an integrated future for France Telecom has underpinned everything we've achieved over these past four years. I wish him and all my colleagues, success for the future, with every expectation that they will take Orange from its current position of strength to continued success."
Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom, commented: "Our sincere thanks go to Sanjiv who has brought his unique knowledge of the industry and a truly global perspective to his time at the head of Orange SA. His contribution to the success of the Group during this period speaks for itself and that is in no small part down to Sanjiv's work in creating the conditions for the smooth and efficient integration of Orange SA with the France Telecom Group and then a successful extension of the brand across all our services. This means that today our Group can provide the full range of integrated services our customers require, under a single and even more powerful Orange brand. Along with our thanks, of course, we wish him all the best with his new ventures."
Olaf Swantee will join the company as Executive Vice President in charge of Personal Communication Services , UK and Europe/Middle East operations*. He will also join the Group Management Committee. Olaf Swantee is currently Senior Vice President at Hewlett-Packard responsible for enterprise sales and software in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He has 17 years of international experience in the IT industry.
Didier Lombard added: "We are delighted to welcome our new colleague Olaf, his management skills and extensive experience in the international IT field will obviously be of tremendous benefit to our business and its customers."
Orange (NYSE: FTE)
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