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Dassault CEO: Next Thales Chairman Will Be Former Vivendi Exec

Dec. 19, 2012 - 08:59AM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
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ISTRES, France — A board meeting of the French defense electronics company Thales slated Dec 20 will appoint Jean-Bernard Levy as chairman and chief executive, said Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Charles Edelstenne.

Edelstenne spoke to reporters Dec 19 on the sidelines of a news conference on the second flight of the French-led Neuron UCAV demonstrator program. Levy will be asked to make a tour and “bring calm” to the company, Edelstenne said.

Levy is a former chief executive of Vivendi, a French multi-media company that owns Universal film studios. Dassault owns 26 percent of Thales, and the French government holds a 27 percent stake.

Levy will replace Luc Vigneron at Thales.

A government official said of the expected appointment that it is better to pose questions on strategy than to have a company “stopped in its tracks.” Levy knows international business and technology, the official said.

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