I can say the French government wants to control the BOD of ALU and they have basically installed their envoy, Philippe Camus, for another term as ALU’s Chairman.
During the recent selection for the Chairman of EADS (aerospace defence) where Camus was one of the leading contenders but his nomination was declined due to French government did not favor Camus leaving Alcatel, as reported by Reuters.
So, it is safe to say Camus staying for another term as ALU’s Chairman was a directive from the French government.
Now you are really scaring me cj, though I am quite sure you are right. If you recall the reports as to why the Board got rid of Ben, it was not because he (and they) have mismanaged the company for the past four years, that it is losing money, burning cash, or anything like that. It was that they did not like the GS loan, that ALU was giving too much, that is, allowing GS the possibility to foreclose on the patents. That is also what France did not like, the risk that they could end up with some non-French company. They were even looking for some sort of alternate financing for ALU.
Now I don't much like that ALU had to do this, but leveraging the patents was the symptom, not the problem. Ben did it because ALU needed a stronger balance sheet or its customers were going to walk. It was a desperate, but necessary move for ALU's survival. But the Board never lifted a finger to prevent ALU from getting to this point, they just objected to the desperate, but necessary act. Just like France. So who does this Board represent, France or the shareholders whom they are supposed to represent? I fear we are going to be run by people who do not represent us. France couldn't care less if the shareholders go down, so long as ALU survives as a French company. Do we become like the old shareholders of GM, the company saved but the shareholders wiped out? Perhaps this is why it was reported that William Nuti demanded to be made Chairman as well as CEO if he was to take the job, and why Camus is announcing now that it is he who will be Chairman.