Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Orange CEO's Future Hangs in the Balance as Fraud Verdict Looms

  • Decision due next week in case that reaches back a decade
  • Trial is distraction for company grappling with price war
Stephane Richard at court on March 20.
Stephane Richard at court on March 20.Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Orange SA risks losing its chief executive next week over decade-old allegations of fraud that have clouded his leadership of France’s biggest phone company.

A Paris court will decide on July 9 whether CEO Stephane Richard helped businessman Bernard Tapie cheat the government out of about 403 million euros ($455 million) in 2008, when he was chief of staff to then Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. He faces as much as 18 months in prison.