These hot topics awaiting the new head of EDF

Hasty end of mandate of Jean-Bernard Lévy. The electrician changes to a new era with lights in red. The future CEO of him will also have to manage the renationalization and the contradictory judicial mandates of the state shareholder.

Executive director of EDF since 2014, Jean-Bernard Lévy, 67, is about to leave. An exit that was initially scheduled for next March but has been brought forward due to the difficulties that the company is going through. Placed under “negative surveillance” by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s, the electrician who will soon be renationalized is experiencing the most serious crisis in his history. In the storm, Jean-Bernard Lévy, former head of Thales and Vivendi, has always tried to look good. At least until the last days. On August 31, during Medef’s summer school, the varnish cracked. The polytechnic got on the stretchers denouncing the incoherence of his shareholder, the State, and its policy of stopping nuclear energy. “They told us: ‘Your nuclear fleet will decrease. Prepare to close plants.’ We close the first two [deux réacteurs à Fessenheim, ndlr]. They told us: “get ready to close the next twelve”. Therefore, we do not hire people to build others. We hire people to close twelve.”

The pleasure of this quarter of an hour of Warholian celebrity was short-lived. Unacceptable comments, Emmanuel Macron decided, assuring with a consumed dose of bad faith that he had always supported nuclear power. Audited on September 14 in the National Assembly, Jean-Bernard Lévy had the opportunity to tell the truth about himself to the president. He refrained from it, preferring to focus on the rare encouraging signs for EDF, in particular the nuclear reactors slated for restart: five in September, five in October, seven in November, three in December, three in January, two in February.

Insinuations to Macron

His opposition to the president was formulated mezza voce by discreet insinuations. Evoking, for example, the Covid crisis that highlighted the lack of skills in the nuclear sector. “It affected our ability to repair [les réacteurs] at the pace we would have liked, […]


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