Atos, the French IT company, made headlines as it appointed Paul Saleh as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Yves Bernaert. The move comes just three months after Bernaert took the helm of the group. Saleh, who previously served as the Chief Financial Officer, will now focus on refinancing Atos’s financial debt and negotiating the sale of its Tech Foundations business and Big Data & Security activities.

Bernaert, the outgoing CEO, stated, “Due to a difference of opinion on the governance to adjust and execute the strategy, I decided to leave the company.” This announcement follows a series of shake-ups at Atos in recent years, which included the departure of two chief executives and a decline in investor confidence due to a failed takeover attempt and profit warnings.

Following the news, Atos shares experienced a significant drop of 16% and have lost over 40% of their value since the beginning of the year.

At present, Atos is in discussions with EP Equity Investment, an investment company led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, to sell its Tech Foundations business for a value of 2 billion euros ($2.19 billion). Additionally, it is in talks with Airbus regarding the sale of its cybersecurity unit, with an indicative offer that values the business at up to EUR1.8 billion including debt.

Jean Pierre Mustier, Chairman of Atos’s Board of Directors, expressed confidence in Saleh’s appointment, highlighting his extensive experience in corporate finance, turnarounds, and restructuring within the technology industry.

In other news, Jacques-Francois de Prest will take over Saleh’s previous role as Chief Financial Officer starting on January 29. De Prest joins Atos from Mobivia, a vehicle maintenance and equipment company.

Despite these changes, Atos reassured investors that it will meet its revenue and profit guidance for 2023. However, it expects free cash flow to be slightly below its forecasts by approximately EUR100 million.

Leave a Reply

7  +  1  =