French technology company Atos has announced the appointment of its fourth Chief Executive Officer in just two years. The latest leader to take the helm is Paul Saleh, the former Group Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Yves Bernaert. This leadership transition comes in the wake of what Atos described as 'an intense period of transformation.'

The official announcement revealed that Saleh assumed his new role effective January 15, 2024. His primary focus will be on steering Atos through financial challenges, including the refinancing of the company's debts and overseeing negotiations related to the sale of its Tech Foundations business to EPEI and its Big Data & Security (BDS) activities to Airbus.

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The company acknowledged that its free cash flow for the year is expected to fall below the target by approximately $109 million. In response to financial constraints, the company has adjusted its strategy to ensure the repayment and refinancing of its financial debts.

Saleh, a seasoned leader in the IT services industry, had been serving as the Group CFO of Atos since August 2023. Prior to joining Atos, he held the position of CEO at Gainwell Technologies and has an extensive history of executive leadership roles, including CFO at CSC/DXC and CFO/interim CEO at Sprint Nextel Corporation before its merger with T-Mobile. Saleh has also contributed his expertise in senior leadership roles at the Walt Disney Company.

With an MBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a master's in engineering from the same institution, Saleh brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role. Commenting on his appointment, Saleh expressed his understanding of the measures needed to secure a successful and sustainable future for Atos. He commented. “I look forward to working with the board, Carlo d’Asaro Biondo and the management team to implement these measures in the interest of all stakeholders.”

Jean-Pierre Mustier, Chairman of Atos's Board of Directors, affirmed “Paul is a seasoned senior executive, with extensive experience in corporate finance, corporate turnarounds and restructuring – including within the technology industry. He is the right person to lead Atos during this period of transformation as we take decisive and disciplined action to secure the long-term sustainability of our business to the benefit of our 105,000 employees, our clients and our investors.”

As Atos undergoes this leadership change, stakeholders will closely watch Saleh's strategic decisions and actions to navigate the company through its ongoing transformation and financial challenges.