David Kessler sadly passed away on Monday 3 February. The world of culture is losing a tireless supporter of audiovisual media, research and the arts. France is losing a great senior civil servant. Orange is losing a passionate and humanistic leader.
My first thoughts are with his family and loved ones. My condolences also to his Orange Content teams and, more generally, to the people within Orange who have had the privilege of working with him.
After a few years in teaching, David won a place as an ‘aggregation of philosophy’ normalien at the prestigious École normale supérieure, graduated from the elite ENA and went on to join the Conseil d’Etat as a high ranking official at the end of the 1980s.
He lived his life by combining his two passions. Advisor to former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë and President François Hollande, David Kessler was notably director general of the broadcasting regulator CSA, served as advisor to France Télévisions, appointed director of the National Centre of Cinema, radio group France Culture, and Superior Council of Contemporary Music, without forgetting his headship at the French cultural magazine Inrockuptibles. He has, through a career that spans decades, worked to promote all forms of culture in a spirit of openness and tolerance.
It was with the same spirit he has shaped the Orange Group’s policy in content over the past five years. David joined Orange as head of our film production subsidiary Orange Studio and then Orange Content, which since 2017 has brought together all of our content activities.
He was an extraordinary man, sharing his love of culture with empathy, joy and generosity. We already miss him so much.