Hollande Ousts APE Head Turrini to Add Industrial Focus

The French government ousted Regis Turrini as head of the state shareholding agency after less than a year in the job as it seeks to add a more industrial focus to the handling of its interests.

Turrini, 56, a former deals specialist at Vivendi SA, only joined the Agence des Participations de l’Etat, or APE, in September. His departure is part of a reorganization “in line with the state’s strategy as a shareholder with a more industrial dimension,” a spokeswoman for Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said.

Martin Vial, who previously ran the government-owned post office and insurer Europ Assistance, is slated to replace Turrini, though his nomination must first be approved by President Francois Hollande’s cabinet, the spokeswoman said.

The APE controls $130 billion in shares in 74 companies, ranging from warship builder DCNS SA and the national lottery to automaker Renault SA, as well as aviation giant Airbus Group and energy provider Electricite de France SA.

While he had support from some of France’s most influential CEOs, including EDF’s Jean-Bernard Levy, and an extensive address book of bankers, Turrini sparred with Energy Minister Segolene Royal over her comments about EDF and Areva that were blamed for hurting both companies’ share price.