The board of directors of Atos appointed Paul Saleh, until now the company’s financial director, as the new CEO of the French technology company this Monday, after Yves Bernaert decided to leave the firm following differences of opinion on the execution of the strategy. of the group, which has warned that it will not meet its free cash flow target.

Atos shares responded to the information with falls close to 18% at the opening of trading on the Paris Stock Exchange, although as the session progressed the decline was contained to around 11%.

“Due to a difference of opinion regarding the adjustment of governance and the execution of the strategy, I decided to leave the company,” said the top executive of the French company, who had been appointed CEO of Atos last October.

Thus, as a result of the appointment with immediate effect of Paul Saleh as CEO of the company, Atos has announced the incorporation of Jacques-Fran├žois de Perst as CFO as of January 29, 2024.

Paul Saleh will focus mainly on the refinancing of the group’s financial debts and on ongoing or potential negotiations, in particular regarding the sale of its Tech Foundations business to EPEI and its Big Data and Security (BDS) activities. to Airbus.

“He is the right person to lead Atos through this period of transformation as we take decisive and disciplined steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business,” said Jean-Pierre Mustier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Atos.

On the other hand, Atos has confirmed that it will meet its financial forecasts for the year in terms of revenue and profits, although the company has warned that it now expects free cash flow “to be slightly below its target at approximately -100 millions of euros”.

Likewise, the company has assured that it has not submitted any request to appoint an “ad hoc representative” or to initiate a conciliation procedure, after the newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ published this Sunday that the company was evaluating the possibility. However, the company points out that “it reserves the right to use available legal mechanisms.”