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Turmoil at Thomson

Ray Le Maistre

10:20 AM -- French vendor Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) is like a rudderless ship at the moment, having announced Sunday that its chairman and CEO Frank Dangeard has jumped overboard, leaving the firm seeking to fill its two top positions. (See Thomson Seeks New CEO.)

Dangeard is hanging around to sit in the chairman's seat until April 12, while CFO Julian Waldron is to be the acting CEO while the board looks for a full-time replacement.

Thomson has high hopes in the triple play market, but it'll get nowhere if there's no one to make the crucial strategic and financial decisions the French firm will need to make if it's going to make itself a real contender and challenge the likes of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the video services delivery world. (See IPTV Is Entering Phase II: Thomson, Thomson, Ericsson Bag IPTV Deals, and French Firms Take On Microsoft.)

The company also needs a new team at the helm to turn around its financial performance: After a disappointing 2007, Thomson warned today that the first quarter of 2008 is shaping up to be a bit of a cauchemar. (See Thomson Reports 2007.)

Thomson's share price is down a couple of cents to €4.42 on the Paris exchange today.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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