April 2010: Emmanuel Hoog elected to head AFP

Emmanuel Hoog, head of France's National TV & Radio Institute (INA) is elected CEO after the abrupt resignation of Pierre Louette. News, reactions.

Earlier Items


At Least Ten Candidates for the Top Job at AFP

As of the deadline for applications on Thursday March 25th, seven people had publicly announced their candidacies, of whom three are AFP employees

According to an AFP wire story in French, there are believed to be ten candidates in all. However the Le Figaro web site says that the new CEO may in fact be Emmanuel Hoog, the president of the French national radio & TV institute INA. He has not formally applied for the job, but is said to be favoured by the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Herewith the list of the seven known candidates (our translation):

PARIS, 24/02/2010 - 1602 - Statement by the SUD-AFP trade union:

The staff of Agence France-Presse have no reasons to mourn the departure of the CEO. Pierre Louette was:

  • The CEO who tried to end the company's independence. Acting as a faithful errand-boy, he accepted a "mission" that involved demolishing AFP's 1957 statutes. In his "exciting" new job at France Télécom, he will be reunited with one of his former ministerial overseers, Christine Albanel.
  • The CEO of condescension and authoritarianism: Did he really believe he could push through his damaging projects against the will of AFP staff?
  • The CEO of backward-moving industrial relations: Never had staff both in France and abroad experienced such growth in job insecurity and blocked career prospects. To make things worse, M. Louette had recently announced a second successive year of a wage freeze for HQ status staff. Not to mention the difficulties experienced by freelancers and non-HQ status employees.

His resignation should provide the opportunity for a new start at AFP. Among the measures needed:

  • The plan to demolish the company's statutes should be withdrawn. The necessary debate on AFP's development prospects could take place in a calmer atmosphere if that threat were removed.
  • The projects contained in the "Louette Plan" that violate the 1957 statutes should be cancelled, starting with the "AFP Services" subsidiary.
  • The plan to break up the Parisian editorial team by moving part of it out of the HQ building should be abandoned.
  • Relations with the unions should be given a new start, with measures to end insecure labour contracts, unfreeze wages and provide the same democratic rights to all AFP employees around the world.

SUD-AFP (SUD Culture Solidaires trade union) - sudafp@orange.fr - http://www.sud-afp.org - Paris, February 24, 2010

Back to top of page

Electing AFP's CEO: How the System Works

AFP wire story dated February 24, 2010 (our translation)

The chief executive of Agence France-Presse is appointed by the agency's Board of Governors, on which sit representatives of the French media, the government and AFP staff. The winning candidate must obtain a strong consensus, but in the event of a deadlock he or she can be elected by a simple majority of board members.

The CEO is elected for a renewable term of three years.

As laid down by Article 10 of the 1957 law which defines AFP's statutes, at least 12 of the Board's 15 members must vote in favour of the winning candidate.

If it proves impossible for any candidate to obtain the required majority after three rounds of voting, the Board is asked to choose between two candidates put forward by the Agency's Higher Council (a watchdog body made up of independent personalities, and charged with ensuring respect for AFP's statutes). In that event, the winning candidate only requires a simple majority.

Composition of the AFP Board:

  • Eight representatives of the National Federation of the French Press, of whom two represent the Parisian National Daily Press Union (SPQN [Fr]), five the Daily Regional Press Union (SPQR [Fr]), and one the Union of local (department-level) dailies (SPQD [Fr]);
  • Two representatives of French public TV and Radio (one of these two seats is currently vacant);
  • Three representatives of the French government - one from the Media Department in the Prime Minister's office (DDM [Fr]), one from the Foreign Ministry and one from the Budget (Finance) Ministry.
  • Two representatives of AFP staff.

In the event of a CEO being either unable to carry out his or her duties, or of the post being vacant, the job is carried out temporarily either by the vice-president of the Board of Governors, or by another designated board member.

Back to top of page