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PARIS (Reuters) - Verizon Chief Revenue Officer Frank Boulben has written to the board of Orange withdrawing from the race to head the French telecom firm, Le Figaro reported on Saturday.
Sources told Reuters earlier this month that Boulben was one of three people on a shortlist of possible candidates. The others are Orange's Chief Financial Officer Ramon Fernandez and Schneider Electric's head for Europe, Christel Heydemann, who also sits on Orange's board.
Le Figaro wrote that Heydemann "seemed on track to succeed Stephane Richard" but that a board meeting to decide on the post has been moved from Monday to Jan. 28.
Earlier this month, financial daily Les Echos reported that finance minister Bruno Le Maire favoured Heydemann for the post.
The French state has a 23% stake in Orange and has the final say on who runs the firm.
Orange, France's biggest telecoms operator, said in November it would find a successor to its Chairman and CEO Stephane Richard by Jan. 31 after a Paris appeal court convicted him of complicity of misuse of public funds.
(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Catherine Evans)