Anne Lauvergeon

Anne Lauvergeon (born 2 August 1959) is a French businesswoman who served as CEO of Areva from 2001 until 2011.[1] According to The Wall Street Journal, she is known internationally as one of the most prominent defenders of nuclear power.[2]

Anne Lauvergeon
Anne Lauvergeon - Université d'été du MEDEF 2009.jpg
Born (1959-08-02) 2 August 1959 (age 60)
NationalityFrench
EducationLycée Lakanal
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure
Mines ParisTech
Spouse(s)Olivier Fric

Early life end educationEdit

Lauvergeon was born into a middle-class family in Dijon, Côte-d'Or; her father taught history and her mother was a social worker. Her grandfather was mayor of a village in Burgundy.[3] She later grew up in Orléans, where her father became a professor of geography.[4]

Lauvergeon attended the École normale de jeunes filles to pass the Agrégation in physics. Then she entered the Corps des Mines. In 1983 she enrolled in her first vocational course with the Corps de Mines, in the iron and steel industry, at Usinor. A second vocational course, in 1984, took place with the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique, where she studied chemical safety in Europe.

CareerEdit

Early beginningsEdit

From 1985 to 1988, Lauvergeon was with the l'Inspection générale des carrières (IGC). In 1990, she was placed in charge of the mission for the international economy and foreign trade by French President François Mitterrand. The following year, she became assistant secretary general. She was then named "sherpa", i.e. personal representative to the president, and responsible for preparing international meetings such as the G7 summit.

In 1995, Lauvergeon joined the banking sector, and became a managing partner of Lazard; she was the only woman partner at the firm.[5] While at Lazard, she spent several months at the investment bank's New York office.[6] In late 1996, she left the firm after difficulties with Édouard Stern; according to media reports at the time, Stern had particularly taken exception to an invitation that Lauvergeon received to join the board of French aluminum company Pechiney.[7]

In March 1997, Lauvergeon was appointed general director of Alcatel, before becoming part of the group's executive committee. In that capacity, she was responsible for international activities and the company's industrial shareholdings in the energy and nuclear fields.[8]

Career at ArevaEdit

In June 1999 Lauvergeon was appointed CEO of the group Cogema, succeeding Jean Syrota, who resigned under pressure from The Greens. In July 2001, she merged Cogema, Framatome and other companies to create Areva. At the head of the new company, she became a member the small circle of women directing international corporations; in September 2002, daily economic newspaper Les Échos uncovered a report from the French Court of Auditors, citing Lauvergeon's compensation (salary of €305,000 with bonus of €122,000) and "golden parachute" of two years' wages.[citation needed]

In 2004, Lauvergeon resisted a request from Nicolas Sarkozy, then finance minister, to help bail out French transport and energy company Alstom.[9] When Alstom's leadership announced plans in 2008 to create a heavy-engineering conglomerate by combining Alstom and Areva in a single entity, Lauvergeon reiterated her opposition.[10][11]

Under Lauvergeon, Areva instead developed into a one-stop shop for nuclear energy. The company became one of the world's top uranium producers and mining accounted for 12 percent of its 2010 revenue.[12] On 10 July 2008 in the French economic paper Challenges, she stated: "Uranium is a main part of our success. Our model is... Nespresso: we sell coffee machines and the coffee that fits them. And coffee is very profitable. So in China, we sold two nuclear islands, plus 35% of our uranium production. This is our integrated business model".[13]

Towards the end of 2006 Areva encountered difficulties with its new European Pressurized Reactor and announced an expected delay of eighteen months to three years for its delivery, according to the French daily newspaper La Tribune.[14] The reactor is to be the first of its kind in Finland. The delay may cost €700 million.[15] Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, she traveled frequently to Japan and spoke out in regular television appearances in support of nuclear power.[16]

In addition to her role at Areva, Lauvergeon was part of other political and business initiatives. In 2001, France's Minister of Science Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg chose her to chair the "national contest of assistance the creation of companies of innovating technologies". In June 2010 Lauvergeon attended the Bilderberg conference in Sitges, Spain.[17]

By 2011, Lauvergeon came under fire due to cost overruns at the Areva-built Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant and the loss of a $40 billion contract in Abu Dhabi to a South Korean consortium.[18] On 16 June 2011 Prime Minister François Fillon announced that her mandate as head of Areva, terminating end of June 2011, would not be renewed. She was replaced by Luc Oursel, member of the Areva board of management since 2007.[19]

Since leaving Areva, Lauvergeon has been a partner and managing director of Efficiency Capital, an investment firm that focuses on energy, technologies, and natural resources. She is also chairman and CEO of A.L.P. SAS, an advisory company.[20] By 2016, media reported that President François Hollande had proposed Lauvergeon to take over as chair of the board at EADS and had won the backing of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for her candidature.[21][22]

ControversyEdit

On 16 October 2009 Lauvergeon addressed journalists outside the "Women’s Forum" organised in Deauville. She declared: "To be clear, with same competences, sorry, we will choose the woman or something else rather than the white male." She said these words during the France 2 evening news.[23][24][25] This statement generated reaction and was chosen as an example by Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen to explain that positive discrimination was a kind of racism.

In 2011, Lauvergeon filed a legal complaint after she discovered a confidential report by private investigators on her husband Olivier Fric's business activities.[26] By 2012, she asked a French court to appoint an expert to examine the circumstances under which Areva ordered a probe in 2010 into the 2007 purchase of Canadian uranium mining firm UraMin; the request was subsequently denied.[27] An internal audit into the deal did not reveal fraud, but said that presentations made to state holding company APE and to Areva's board about the planned UraMin acquisition had not given enough prominence to the doubts that the internal technical teams had expressed.[28]

Areva initially withheld Lauvergeon's 1.5 million euro ($2 million) severance pay due to the UraMin dispute.[29] Also in 2012, a court ordered the company to sign a contract allowing Lauvergeon to receive her severance pay.[30]

Only 11 days before the first round of the 2012 French presidential election, Lauvergeon accused Sarkozy in an interview with French weekly L'Express of having tried to sell an atomic reactor to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi until mid-2010.[31] In the interview, Lauvergeon also said Sarkozy had offered her a cabinet seat when he was elected in 2007 but she had refused.[32] Sarkozy's spokeswoman Valérie Pécresse responded by accusing Lauvergeon of trying to "settle scores", calling her statements as "fictitious".[33] At the time, Lauvergeon was tipped as a possible minister in a Socialist government under François Hollande.[34]

In 2016, Lauvergeon was put under formal investigation for her role in the UraMin acquisition,[35] over questions on whether she deliberately submitted misleading annual accounts that concealed huge writedowns on its €1.8 billion investment in UraMin.[36] Also, French judicial authorities investigated Fric for insider trading and money laundering over the UraMin purchase.[37]

Other activitiesEdit

Corporate boardsEdit

Non-profit organizationsEdit

RecognitionEdit

In French media, Lauvergeon was often cited as one of the world's most powerful women during her time at Areva.[54] The 2006 Fortune Global 500, published by the American magazine Fortune, ranked her as the 2nd most powerful woman in Europe, behind Patricia Russo, future president of Alcatel-Lucent Technologies. Also in 2006 she was ranked by Forbes magazine as the eighth-most powerful woman in the world and was ranked ninth-most powerful women in 2008 and 2009.[55] In 2007, she was named Europe's top businesswoman in the Financial Times annual ranking.[56]

In July 2011 Lauvergeon was elected an International Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK.[57]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Five Reasons Anne Lauvergeon is Still the Bomb". Forbes. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  2. ^ Geraldine Amiel and John M. Biers (17 June 2011), France Replaces Areva's CEO The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ Steven Erlanger (18 March 2011), ‘Atomic Anne’ Keeps France Spinning The New York Times.
  4. ^ John Tagliabue (26 November 2007), The woman behind Areva of France International Herald Tribune.
  5. ^ Peter Truell (13 November 1996), Heir to the Throne at Lazard Freres May Not Be Anymore International Herald Tribune.
  6. ^ John Tagliabue (26 November 2007), The woman behind Areva of France International Herald Tribune.
  7. ^ Peter Truell (13 November 1996), Heir to the Throne at Lazard Freres May Not Be Anymore International Herald Tribune.
  8. ^ Vodafone appoints Anne Lauvergeon as Non-Executive Director Vodafone, press release of 21 October 2005.
  9. ^ Geraldine Amiel and John M. Biers (17 June 2011), France Replaces Areva's CEO The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Nick Antonovics (26 February 2008), Areva 2007 net up 14.5 pct, dismisses Alstom tie-up Reuters.
  11. ^ David Gauthier-Villars (23 February 2009), France's Areva Feels Its Power Wane The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ Caroline Jacobs and Benjamin Mallet (22 February 2012), Court tells Areva to sign Atomic Anne's payoff Reuters.
  13. ^ (in French) L'interview – «le modèle d'areva, c'est... nespresso» – Challenges.fr[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ (in French) Areva : la tension monte en Finlande – La Tribune.fr
  15. ^ LeMonde.fr : Le retard de l'EPR finlandais va coûter 700 millions d'euros au français
  16. ^ Geraldine Amiel and John M. Biers (17 June 2011), France Replaces Areva's CEO The Wall Street Journal.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ Lionel Laurent and Nina Sovich (21 March 2011), Nuclear scare an opportunity for embattled Areva CEO Reuters.
  19. ^ Areva enterre l'ère Lauvergeon, Challenges, 2 September 2014
  20. ^ American Express Company Elects Anne Lauvergeon to Board of Directors American Express, press release of 21 February 2013.
  21. ^ Emmanuel Jarry and Tim Hepher (28 January 2013), Lauvergeon takes center-stage in EADS board shake-up Reuters.
  22. ^ Michael Stothard (13 May 2016), Areva ex-chief under formal investigation over UraMin affair Financial Times.
  23. ^ "Areva, l'extrême droite et le "mâle blanc"" (in French). Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  24. ^ (in French) L'extrême droite critique Lauvergeon
  25. ^ (in French) Anne Lauvergeon déraille au Women's Forum on YouTube
  26. ^ Gerard Bon and Marie Maitre (21 December 2011), French prosecutor opens Areva ex-CEO spying probe Reuters.
  27. ^ Caroline Jacobs (29 February 2012), Ex-Areva CEO demand for UraMin report probe denied Reuters.
  28. ^ Geert De Clercq, Gerard Bon and Nicolas Bertin (3 June 2014), Areva office, former staff's homes searched in UraMin probe Reuters.
  29. ^ Caroline Jacobs and Benjamin Mallet (22 February 2012), Court tells Areva to sign Atomic Anne's payoff Reuters.
  30. ^ Caroline Jacobs (29 February 2012), Ex-Areva CEO demand for UraMin report probe denied Reuters.
  31. ^ Paul Taylor (11 April 2012), "Atomic Anne" tries to nuke France's Sarkozy Reuters.
  32. ^ Paul Taylor (11 April 2012), "Atomic Anne" tries to nuke France's Sarkozy Reuters.
  33. ^ Paul Taylor (11 April 2012), "Atomic Anne" tries to nuke France's Sarkozy Reuters.
  34. ^ Emmanuel Jarry and Yann Le Guernigou (17 April 2012), French Sarkozy denies hawking nuclear reactor to Gaddafi Reuters.
  35. ^ Simon Carraud (13 May 2016), Former Areva CEO Lauvergeon is put under formal investigation Reuters.
  36. ^ Michael Stothard (13 May 2016), Areva ex-chief under formal investigation over UraMin affair Financial Times.
  37. ^ Geert De Clercq (30 March 2016), Former Areva CEO's husband under investigation for insider trading-source Reuters.
  38. ^ Anne Lauvergeon rejoint l'expert de la bauxite Yves Occello au sein d'iB2 Africa Intelligence, 2 April 2019.
  39. ^ Board of Directors: Anne Lauvergeon Koç Holding.
  40. ^ "Suez – Anne Lauvergeon". Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  41. ^ American Express Company Elects Anne Lauvergeon to Board of Directors American Express, press release of 21 February 2013.
  42. ^ Rio Tinto announces board changes Archived 22 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine Rio Tinto, press release of 5 March 2014.
  43. ^ Mehreen Khan (10 February 2017), Rio Tinto appoints ex-Centrica boss to board in series of major appointments Financial Times.
  44. ^ Cyril Altmeyer and Tim Hepher (January 28, 2013), France backs Lauvergeon for "major" EADS role Reuters.
  45. ^ Airbus Group Proposes New Board Members For Approval At AGM Airbus, press release of 17 March 2016.
  46. ^ Total – Corporate Web Site – Members of the Board of Directors – Organization – Presentation Archived 16 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Anne Lauvergeon – Vodafone". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  48. ^ Vodafone appoints Anne Lauvergeon as Non-Executive Director Vodafone, press release of 21 October 2005.
  49. ^ Safran – About Safran
  50. ^ Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Nancy : La Lampe – Lettre d'information Archived 24 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^ Liste des membres en 2010
  52. ^ 2011 Annual Report Vodafone.
  53. ^ Advisory Board.
  54. ^ Simon Carraud (13 May 2016), Former Areva CEO Lauvergeon is put under formal investigation Reuters.
  55. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Women: Anne Lauvergeon". Forbes. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  56. ^ Andrew Hill and Joanna Chung (10 October 2007), Anne Lauvergeon named Europe’s top businesswoman Financial Times.
  57. ^ "Academy celebrates 59 New Fellows". RAEng. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
Business positions
Preceded by
None
CEO of Areva
2001–2011
Succeeded by
Luc Oursel