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Atos Unveils Sweeping Restructuring Plan, CEO Departure

By Scott Kanowsky

Investing.com -- Atos SE (EPA:ATOS) shares slid sharply on Tuesday after the French information technology consulting company unveiled a plan to spin off its key Big Data and cybersecurity units - and revealed the impending departure of its chief executive - in a bid to stem a series of recent setbacks.

The proposed reorganization would see shares in that spun-off group listed and distributed by the end of 2023, Atos said in a statement. Meanwhile, Atos' professional services division would also become its own publicly listed entity.

The plan would need estimated total funding of around €1.6B for the 2022-2023 period, the company added.

"Having examined a number of possible options, Atos’ Board of Directors is convinced that the envisioned project, presented today by the management, is the best possible for the Group, and would create the highest value for all Atos Stakeholders,” said Atos Chairman Bertrand Meunier.

Top management at the company is expected to present more details about this proposal at a closely watched Capital Markets Day on Tuesday.

In a separate announcement, Atos also said current CEO Rodolphe Belmer would leave the company in September, after only starting the job in January. The departure follows weeks of media speculation about a rift between Belmer and Atos' board over strategy at its cybersecurity division. Belmer was reportedly mulling a potential sale of the unit.

Belmer was first brought on to lead a turnaround effort after a failed acquisition attempt of a U.S. group, a 2021 profit warning, and accounting errors dented investor confidence.

Shares in Atos have fallen by more than 60% over the past year.

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