Veolia Names New Operating Chief to Take Charge of Cost-Cutting

The French water company Veolia Environnement, whose shares have slumped 11 percent this year amid a restructuring, named Francois Bertreau as chief operating officer to oversee cost-cutting efforts.

Bertreau, 57, who begins Dec. 1, will “be in charge of putting in place the company’s new organizational structure,” the Paris-based utility said today in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot is cutting debt and scaling back global operations to boost profits. The company plans to sell 5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) of assets and cut investments this year and next. It has said it will also reduce operating costs by 270 million euros in 2013.

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