PARIS — Corinne Bouygues went on vacation this week, but not before she had resigned from the TF1 television network her father bought in 1987.
Bouygues, who was chairman and CEO of ancillary division TF1 Entreprises and co-general manager of the advertising arm TF1 Publicite, effectively oversaw the revenue sources of France’s leading national network.
But on July 23, she handed her resignation to TF1 chairman Patrick Le Lay, ending her eight-year association with the network.
Power struggle hinted
TF1 would say only that no replacement will be named before the end of the August holidays. However, it is widely speculated that Bouygues lost out in a power struggle with Le Lay.
In recent weeks, there have been persistent rumors that Bouygues did not agree with Le Lay’s decision to freeze 1997 expenditure on the programming schedule at the 1996 level of $776 million.
Word on the street was that Bouygues was maneuvering to try and get Le Lay ousted. Ironically, if this was the case, it may well have been her brother, the Bouygues group chairman Martin Bouygues, who finally arbitrated in Le Lay’s favor. The Bouygues group is TF1’s main shareholder.
Corinne Bouygues joined TF1 in 1989, having headed the communications arm of her father’s giant construction company BTP. In 1991, she was named co-manager of TF1 Publicite, which last year accounted for $1.2 billion of TF1’s $1.6 billion revenue.
As chairman and CEO of TF1 Entreprises, she oversaw TF1’s diversification into video distribution, merchandising and mail order catalogs. She was also president of the music publishing arm Une Musique and the Tele-Shopping subsidiary. Together, these three divisions accounted for $178 million in revenue last year