PARIS — A senior French government official handling the country’s arms exports is due to leave the procurement office for a top job at European missile-maker MBDA, website La Tribune has reported.
“The director of international development at the Direction Générale de l’Armement is soon to start at MBDA,” the report said.
Stéphane Reb is due to take up the post of MBDA programs director and is seen as a potential successor to chairman and CEO Antoine Bouvier, the report said. The civil service deontology committee — whose approval is required for civil servants to take up posts in the private sector — has given a green light, the report said.
Reb sought for the DGA to set up a department to support export efforts of French industry, but received little or no backing, the report said.
DGA and MBDA declined comment.
The DGA appointed Reb in 2012 as head of international development, a department that plays a critical role in pursuit of arms exports. A failure to win foreign contracts leads to cuts in orders for the French services, as the six-year defense budget law assumes export deals will be won.
Last year, Laurent Collet-Billon, the head of DGA at the time, said the procurement office planned to recruit 160 officials just to support arms exports, a first batch of more than 500 staff planned by 2019-2020.
Reb is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, an elite university under the auspices of the Armed Forces Ministry. He worked as DGA program director for the Rafale fighter program and on feasibility studies for tactical missiles. He also worked on various versions of Mirage 2000 fighters and demonstrators for combat drones.
Reb will succeed Patrick Tramier at MBDA, the report said.