Luc Vigneron, chairman and chief executive officer of Thales, having acknowledged the absence of support of the group's two main shareholders, tendered his resignation to the company's directors at a meeting of the board of directors on December 20, 2012 and his resignation was accepted.
The board thanked Vigneron for the work he has accomplished for Thales since his appointment, particularly the upturn in profitability and the improvement in the way it manages its contracts.
At this same meeting, the board of directors co-opted Jean-Bernard Lévy as a director and subsequently elected him to the position of chairman and chief executive officer of Thales.
Thales's two main shareholders, the French State and the Dassault Aviation, welcome this appointment and will work in agreement with senior management to pursue the continued recovery of the group and its future development.
Lévy said he is, " ... very proud to be appointed to lead Thales. I have been aware
for many years of the passion and the high-level expertise of the men and women who
contribute to the group's numerous successes in many countries around the world. In the
global marketplace, Thales has all the strengths needed to play a leading role. I know I can
count on the energy and commitment of all to meet the challenges ahead and work together
to develop our group."
Jean-Bernard Lévy, 57, is a graduate of the École Polytechnique (1973) and Télécom
ParisTech. He began his career in 1979 with France Telecom as an engineer in Angers. In
1982, he became responsible for the management of senior staff and budgets, and was later
promoted to deputy head of personnel.
In 1986, he acts as advisor to Gérard Longuet, the French Minister for Postal and
Lévy was general manager, Communications satellites of Matra Espace and then Matra Marconi Space from 1988 until 1993, when he became chief of staff to Gérard Longuet, the Minister for Industry, Postal services & Telecommunications and Foreign Trade.
In 1995, he was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Matra Communication,
and in 1998 he joined Oddo et Cie as chief executive officer, then managing partner.
During summer 2002, Jean-Bernard Lévy was appointed CEO of Vivendi before serving as chairman of its management board from 2005 until June 2012.
Lévy is married with four children and is a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur and an officer of the Ordre National du Mérite.