Key players behind the French company's rise
DIDIER LOMBARDCEO, FRANCE TELECOM Appointed CEO of France Telecom in 2005, Lombard started his career at FT in 1967 in the R&D division. He defended the establishment of the company’s content unit before FT’s board and helped get it off the ground. “The most significant achievement is that we brought the world’s first TV Everywhere service to fruition, with great content available on the TV, PC and mobile,” he says. “It’s been an incredibly successful launch for us — not only did we beat our own subscriber targets but we grew the French pay TV market and changed the way consumers view TV.” Lombard is a believer in cooperation. “Our goal in the French TV market has always been to grow the market rather than compete with others for existing pay TV users,” he says. “Our research showed that around 30% of TV viewers in France were looking for premium offers that do not bundle sport and cinema — something that didn’t exist before we launched. These are the people we are targeting. This strategy is working, as more than 97% of our Orange Cinema Series customers are new to premium pay TV.” XAVIER COUTURE DIRECTOR, ORANGE CONTENT DIVISION The leader of Orange’s content division since May 2008, Couture is a longtime TV exec who’s served as Canal Plus prexy and head of sports and special operations at TF1. At Orange he handles relationships with other content companies and is a frequent public speaker on TV issues. HERVE PAYAN SENIOR VP, PARTNERSHIPS AND SERVICES, ORANGE CONTENT DIVISION Fast-talking and good-humored, Payan says Orange is “in the first phase of development of premium pay, and we’re implementing it step by step, steadily but surely.” He began his career as an engineer and later founded Sports.com, one of the first multiplatform sports websites in Europe. GUILLAUME JOUHET VP, ORANGE CINEMA SERIES Known as a program guru with extensive knowledge of movies and TV series, Jouhet joined Orange in the spring of 2008. Prior to that he worked for more than 10 years in various positions at France’s Television Par Satellite (TPS) digital platform — including serving as head of films and youth programming. FREDERIQUE DUMAS CEO, STUDIO 37 During her 10-year career as an indie producer, Dumas was the driving force behind auteur-powered pics such as Oscar-winning film “No Man’s Land” and “Before the Rain.” She also served as a cinema adviser for France’s Ministry of Culture and prexy of the producers’ union.