Orange CEO's fate on the line after conviction

Orange CEO Stephane Richard was found guilty of complicity to misuse public funds on Wednesday (November 24), and given a one year suspended prison sentence.

He also received a 50,000 euro fine, but was cleared of complicity with fraud.

Richard called the ruling 'deeply unfair' and said he would appeal the verdict.

He said it is now up to the Orange board to decide whether he should remain in charge of France's largest telecoms firm.

Orange is due to hold a board meeting later on Wednesday, according to a company spokesperson.

Two sources close to the matter said it would be difficult for Richard to keep his job.

The case focused on a $450 million French state payout to the late business tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008.

Richard was chief of staff to then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde at the time.

Lagarde is now President of the European Central Bank and has also denied any wrongdoing.

She was convicted of negligence over the affair in 2016.

Richard is credited with improving relations between employees and executives at Orange.

He is also seen to have raised its financial results after he joined the firm.

But Orange's stock price had not improved during his time in charge, and its shares were little moved after the verdict.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting