Anne Lauvergeon

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Anne Lauvergeon
Anne Lauvergeon - Université d'été du MEDEF 2009.jpg
Born (1959-08-02) 2 August 1959 (age 62)
Dijon, France
Nationality French
Alma mater Mines ParisTech

Anne Lauvergeon (born August 2, 1959) is a French businesswoman who was CEO of Areva from 2001 to 2011,[1] when the nuclear energy company lost billions of Euros in a series of allegedly ill-advised schemes. Said to have been supported throughout her career by powerful male sponsors, Lauvergeon's rise has been held up as an example of feminist affirmative action.[2]

Education and career

Born in Dijon, Côte-d'Or, in 1956 she attended the École normale de jeunes filles to pass the Agrégation in physics. Then she entered the Corps des Mines. In 1983 she enrolled in her first vocational course with the Corps de Mines, in the iron and steel industry, at Usinor. A second vocational course, in 1984, took place with the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique, where she studied chemical safety in Europe. From 1985 to 1988, she was with the l'Inspection générale des carrières (IGC). In 1990, she was placed in charge of the mission for the international economy and foreign trade by French President François Mitterrand. The following year, she became assistant secretary general. She was then named "sherpa", i.e. personal representative to the president, and responsible for preparing international meetings such as the G7 summit. In 1995, she joined the banking sector, and became a managing partner of Lazard. In March 1997, she was appointed general director of Alcatel, before becoming part of the group's executive committee.

Control of French nuclear power

In June 1999, she was appointed CEO of the group Cogema, succeeding Jean Syrota, who resigned under pressure from The Greens. In July 2001, she merged Cogema, Framatome and other companies to create Areva. At the head of the new company, she became a member the small circle of women directing international corporations. The 2006 Fortune Global 500, published by the American magazine Fortune, ranked her as the 2nd most powerful woman in Europe, behind Patricia Russo, future president of Alcatel-Lucent Technologies.

In 2001, Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg chose her to chair the "national contest of assistance the creation of companies of innovating technologies".

In September 2002, the daily economic newspaper Les Échos uncovered a report from the French court of auditors, citing her compensation (salary of €305,000 with bonus of €122,000) and "golden parachute" of two years' wages.[citation needed]

Towards the end of 2006, due to an alleged pattern of mismanagement involving its new European Pressurized Reactor, Areva announced an expected delay of eighteen months to three years for its delivery, according to the French daily newspaper La Tribune.[3] The reactor was to be the first of its kind in Finland. The delay may cost well over €1 billion.[4]

She allegedly filed misleading financial and organizational accounts about Areva's disastrous takeover of the mining company Uramin in 2007.[5][6]

Lauvergeon is also President of the board of directors of École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Nancy[7] and is a director or board member of Suez, Total S.A., Safran S.A. and Vodafone.[8][9][10][11]

On 10 July 2008, in the French economic paper "Challenges," she claimed: "Uranium is a main part of our success. Our model is... Nespresso: we sell coffee machines and the coffee that fits them. And coffee is very profitable. So in China, we sold two nuclear islands, plus 35% of our uranium production. This is our integrated business model".[12]

On 16 October 2009, Lauvergeon addressed journalists outside the "Women’s Forum" organised in Deauville. She declared: "To be clear, with same competences, sorry, we will choose the woman or something else rather than the white male." She said these words during the France 2 evening news.[13][14][15] This statement generated reaction and was chosen as an example by Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen to explain that positive discrimination was a kind of racism.

In June 2010, she attended the Bilderberg conference in Sitges, Spain.[16] She is a member of the Trilateral Commission as well.[17]

On 16 June 2011 François Fillon, the French Prime minister, announced that Anne Lauvergeon's mandate as head of Areva, terminating end of June 2011, would not be renewed. She was replaced by Luc Oursel, member of the Areva board of management since 2007.[18]

In July 2011 Lauvergeon was elected an International Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK.[19]

In 2016 she worked at Rio Tinto.[5]

Public Image

In 2009, she was ranked by Forbes magazine as the ninth-most powerful woman in the world.[20]


  1. "Five Reasons Anne Lauvergeon is Still the Bomb". Forbes. Retrieved 31 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Return of Kings article (11/2017)
  3. (French) Areva : la tension monte en Finlande – La
  4. : Le retard de l'EPR finlandais va coûter 700 millions d'euros au français
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peter Ker (May 16, 2016)
  7. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Nancy : La Lampe – Lettre d'information Archived 24 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Suez – Anne Lauvergeon
  9. Total – Corporate Web Site – Members of the Board of Directors – Organization – Presentation Archived 16 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Safran – About Safran
  11. Anne Lauvergeon – Vodafone
  12. (French) L'interview – «le modèle d'areva, c'est... nespresso» –
  13. (French)"Areva, l'extrême droite et le "mâle blanc"". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-18. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. (French) L'extrême droite critique Lauvergeon
  15. (French) Anne Lauvergeon déraille au Women's Forum on YouTube
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 2011-08-25. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Liste des membres en 2010
  18. Areva enterre l'ère Lauvergeon, Challenges, 2 September 2014
  19. "Academy celebrates 59 New Fellows". RAEng. Retrieved 14 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "The 100 Most Powerful Women: Anne Lauvergeon". Forbes. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Business positions
Preceded by
CEO of Areva
Succeeded by
Luc Oursel