French technology company Atos has appointed its fourth chief executive in two years, naming former Group Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh as its latest CEO after what the group described as ‘an intense period of transformation’.
Bernaert himself succeeded Nourdine Bihmane, who in July 2022 was named Atos’ CEO after previous chief executive Rodolphe Belmer left the company.
According to Atos, Saleh’s new role will primarily see him focus on refinancing Atos’ financial debts and ongoing or coming negotiations, particular the sale of its Tech Foundations business to EPEI and its Big Data & security (BDS) activities to Airbus.
Announcing the reshaping of its management team, Atos also said that it expected its free cash flow for the year to be below its target by approximately €100m (US$109m). In a statement, the group said its strategy has been adjusted in light of financial constraints to “ensure the repayment and refinancing of its financial debts”.
Who is Paul Saleh, new CEO of Atos?
A seasoned leader within the IT services industry, Saleh has been Group CFO of Atos since August 2023. Before joining Atos, Saleh was CEO of Gainwell Technologies and has held many executive leadership positions throughout his career, including as CFO at CSC/DXC and as CFO and interim CEO at Sprint Nextel Corporation before it became part of T-Mobile, as well as senior leadership roles at Walt Disney Company.
He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a Master’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.
“During my time as CFO of Atos Group, I have gained deep insight into the company and have a clear understanding of what actions need to be taken to secure a successful and sustainable future for the Group,” he comments. “I look forward to working with the board, Carlo d’Asaro Biondo and the management team to implement these measures in the interest of all stakeholders.”
Jean-Pierre Mustier, Chairman of Atos’s Board of Directors, said: “Paul is a seasoned senior executive, with extensive experience in corporate finance, corporate turnarounds and restructuring – including within the technology industry. He is the right person to lead Atos during this period of transformation as we take decisive and disciplined action to secure the long-term sustainability of our business to the benefit of our 105,000 employees, our clients and our investors. I’m also pleased to welcome Jacques-François de Prest as Group CFO, as well as Sujatha Chandrasekaran and Monika Maurer, two highly experienced board members.”
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