Atos appoints Rodolphe Belmer as next chief executive officer

22 October 2021 2 min. read
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Atos has appointed Rodolphe Belmer as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2022.

The listed IT services giant is currently led by Elie Girard, who has been in the top role since 2019, when he succeeded Thierry Breton, today’s European industry chief. Two years into the role, Girard has now stepped down, with Pierre Barnabé and Adrian Gregory installed as interim co-Chief Executive Officers until Belmer takes office.

While Atos has not released details on why Girard is resigning, speculation in French media suggests that he has been ‘asked to leave’ following a string of setbacks that sent Atos’ share price down by more than 40% this year. The most painful was the revelation that Atos made accounting errors in its North American business, which triggered a 20% fall in the firm’s shares in a single day. Atos has meanwhile cleared the accounts.

Rodolphe Belmer is appointed Chief Executive Officer of Atos

Another painful case was the failed attempt to buy DXC Technology, a deal that would have been the biggest-ever acquisition for deal-hungry Atos (around $10 billion). After Atos put in a bid in January this year, DXC Technology eventually walked away from the talks in February noting a bid that was “inadequate and lacking certainty”.

The 43-year-old Girard, who will leave the company today, was a former top executive at telecoms group Orange before he took the reins.

His successor, the 52-year-old Belmer, is the current boss of French satellite firm Eutelsat, which he joined in 2015. A graduate of France’s elite HEC business school, he previously led pay-TV station Canal+, part of media group Vivendi. Bertrand Meunier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Atos, said Belmer was selected for his “strategic acumen and his proven leadership and operational efficiency, as well as his ability to successfully lead complex transformations.”

Belmer has been tasked with “accelerate its strategy to strengthen its position in digital, cloud, security and decarbonisation”, and work toward the company’s growth agenda through both organic expansion and acquisitions. He will lead a team of over 104,000 employees generating revenues of more than €11 billion.