Orange shows it means business with executive hires

The enterprise services unit has snapped up executives from AWS, BT and T-Systems to bring diverse talents to the leadership team.

Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

May 17, 2023

3 Min Read
Orange shows it means business with executive hires

Back in February, Orange Group CEO Christel Heydemann confirmed what had long been suspected: the underperforming Orange Business Services was to undergo a transformation process that would shift the focus to more profitable areas of the business and reduce the reliance on legacy offerings such as voice communications.

Now rebranded under the slightly snappier name of Orange Business or OB, the enterprise services unit has been wrapped up in a protective cover that will no doubt be peeled off in the coming months to reveal a sleeker and more efficient division, assuming that all goes to plan.

Figure 1: (Source: l_martinez / Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: l_martinez / Alamy Stock Photo)

In April, Jean-Michel Thibaud, interim executive director for finance, performance and development at Orange, confirmed only that the process was underway, pointing out that strong growth in Digital & Data as well as Orange Cyberdefense was at least able to more or less offset the continuing decline in the legacy business.

In the meantime, Orange Business has also started to tweak its workforce, opening negotiations with trade unions on a voluntary redundancy plan for about 670 employees while also planning to recruit about 800 cybersecurity experts. In addition, 5,000 employees are learning new skills in the areas of virtualization, cloud, data, AI and cybersecurity.

Executives from AWS, BT and T-Systems turn Orange

The operator has now turned its attention to its leadership, announcing three key appointments that it hopes will add momentum to its revised market approach.

Hriday Ravindranath, previously the chief product and digital officer at BT Global, has been named chief technology and information officer (CTIO) at Orange Business with immediate effect. He appears to replace Philippe Ensarguet, who served as CTO at the "old" Orange Business for almost four years before taking on the post of VP of Software Engineering at Orange Group. Ravindranath will be based in India.

Usman Javaid, previously managing director of professional services delivery at Amazon Web Services (AWS), has also been named chief products and marketing officer and will be based in the UK.

Orange Business noted that these two latest appointments round out its leadership team under CEO Aliette Mousnier-Lompré following the appointment in January of François Fleutiaux as executive vice president for France. Fleutiaux most recently worked at Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems division and held previous executive positions in IBM, Unisys and Fujitsu.

As explained by Mousnier-Lompré, this "global and diverse leadership team" is now tasked with nurturing a "new and positive culture within Orange Business as a trusted digital services company."

Orange Business currently employs around 30,000 people across 65 countries and serves more than 3,000 multinational enterprises, as well as 2 million professionals, companies and local communities in France.

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

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