Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, Orange’s Combined Shareholders’ Meeting, which took place on 19 May 2020, was held behind closed doors at the Group’s headquarters in Paris and was chaired by Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO. A video recording of the entire Shareholders’ Meeting is available on www.orange.com.
The shareholders adopted all the resolutions proposed and approved by the Board of Directors, including the resolution establishing Orange’s “purpose”. The financial results, the Engage 2025 strategy, the Group’s outlook as well as Orange’s efforts to manage the current health and economic crisis were all presented. Details of the quorum and the voting results can be found at the following address: https://oran.ge/ag2020.
Commenting on the meeting, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said:
"During today’s Shareholders’ Meeting and despite the closed-session format due to the health crisis, we held an open discussion with our shareholders, in particular on the way in which Orange has mobilized itself in the face of the ongoing crisis. Our networks have been subjected to unprecedented pressure during this crisis and the Group has successfully met all its responsibilities thanks to the unfailing mobilization of its employees. In addition, adapting our dividend policy will allow us to better cope with the uncertainties of the months to come.
This Shareholders’ Meeting was also an opportunity to reflect on how the current crisis is likely to impact today’s world, and how our Engage 2025 strategy will allow us to face up to these changes. Although developed before the epidemic, this plan resonates particularly well in the light of current events. Our responsibility towards society and the environment has taken on a new meaning during this crisis as it becomes increasingly clear that we must now build a more sustainable and more ecologically responsible world. The crisis will also accelerate certain trends, starting with the adoption of very high-speed broadband, and will create new opportunities. We are well positioned and have the means to seize these opportunities and, despite the crisis, Orange is well prepared to tackle the challenges ahead with serenity and ambition.
Today’s Shareholders’ Meeting also voted to include Orange's purpose in our bylaws. Given the exceptional scale of the current health crisis and the economic uncertainty that is likely to mark the coming months, it is all the more essential that the Group is guided by a long-term vision and a clear sense of purpose. By formalizing our purpose as a guide, we are providing ourselves with an additional asset that will help us persevere and remain resilient in the face of adversity."
The Group’s purpose - “as a trusted partner, Orange gives everyone the keys to a responsible digital world” - and its inclusion in the articles of association was approved by 99.98% of shareholders.
The Shareholders’ Meeting also renewed Christel Heydemann and Bernard Ramanantsoa’s terms of office as independent board members for four years and also approved the appointments of:
- Frédéric Sanchez as an independent board member, replacing Charles-Henri Filippi, whose term ended at this Shareholders’ Meeting,
- Laurence Dalbousière as a board member representing employee shareholders, replacing Philippe Charry, whose term had also ended.
Following the Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors remains composed of 15 members, including six women and nine men, all with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. In addition, the Shareholders’ Meeting appointed Bernard Ramanantsoa, an independent board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee, as the new Lead Director, replacing Charles-Henri Filippi.
The dividend of 0.50 euros per share for the 2019 financial year was approved. An advance payment of 0.30 euros per share was distributed in December 2019; the balance to distribute is therefore 0.20 euros per share. The ex-dividend date is 2 June and the balance of the dividends to be distributed will be paid on 4 June 2020.
Finally, the 5th edition of the Integrated Annual Report, focused on commitment, was published. The report highlights Orange’s purpose, its Engage 2025 strategic plan, and the ways the Group is equipped to respond to the challenges facing our planet and our society’s expectations. It is available at https://rai2019.orange.com.