Shakeup at France Telecom

3:15 PM -- Orange (NYSE: FTE) is planning a revamp of its top team in early 2010, a move that will include the appointment of a new CEO at international business services unit Orange Business Services .

That's because Barbara Dalibard, the current CEO of that division, which provides fixed and mobile services to more than 30,000 enterprise customers in more than 200 countries worldwide, is unexpectedly leaving.

Dalibard is joining French rail services firm SNCF in early 2010, leaving FT with just a few months to find a replacement. She has been with the French giant since 2001, and is currently the FT Group's executive VP in charge of the Enterprise Communication Services Division, as well as president and CEO of Orange Business Services.

The news comes just as Orange Business Services launches its cloud services strategy, which Dalibard presented to the media in Paris Thursday morning in advance of a public unveiling planned for Friday.

The division's head of corporate communications, Frédéric Gielec, says the news of the shakeup, and of his CEO's departure, came as a surprise, and that it wasn't clear whether FT would look for an external candidate or appoint from within its ranks to replace Dalibard.

But he says the upcoming change wouldn't affect the division's cloud services strategy. France Telecom, says Gielec, is "a large ship," and that while it might take some time for new initiatives to be launched, once they're launched, they sail on.

With the cloud services strategy, though, it'll just be someone other than Dalibard at the helm.

The top team revamp will coincide with the introduction of an unspecified new group project. France Telecom has already announced the impending appointment of a "CEO delegate" to replace grand fomage Didier Lombard. (See France Telecom Names CEO Elect.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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