French companies: Room at the top

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French companies


An astonishing procession of bosses are disappearing from France’s big firms





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THE once-familiar lineup of CAC-40 bosses is getting less so, as one after another is moved, fired or defenestrates himself. On October 29th, it was the turn of Christopher Viehbacher, the German-Canadian chief executive of the French drugs-giant Sanofi, to be sacked.
Sanofi’s board blamed poor relations between Mr Viehbacher and itself, but promised to continue his policy of international expansion, the job he was brought in to do in 2008. But many believe it was the decision of Sanofi’s first non-French boss to move to Boston in June—placing him closer to much of the research on which Sanofi relies—that provoked the rupture. The row, plus the revelation in a quarterly results session on October 28th that the company’s …

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