France names ex-Areva boss to EADS board

France on Sunday named the former boss of nuclear group Areva, Anne Lauvergeon, to represent it on the board of European aerospace giant EADS.

The French economy ministry announced that the group had proposed naming both her and former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet to the board.

Shareholders must still approve the decision, the ministry said.

Earlier Sunday, French weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, citing a source close to the French government, reported that Lauvergeon was French President Francois Hollande's choice for the group's presidency. It also reported that Germany backed France's choice.

Whether she becomes EADS chairwoman or not, the spot on the board marks a return to centre stage for "Atomic Anne", as Lauvergeon has been dubbed in France. She was ousted from the Areva presidency a year and a half ago.

Current EADS chairman Arnaud Lagadere is expected to step down in March to focus his industrial and media group Lagadere on media and sports holdings.

Shareholders at EADS, which builds rocket and missile launchers, satellites, fighter aircraft and helicopters as well as owning the plane maker Airbus, will be asked to approve a new chair and board of directors.

Aside from Lauvergeon, the three other official candidates in line for the top job are former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet and the bosses of construction giant Saint Gobain and electronics and systems group Thales.

Over the weekend the French press also tipped Philippe Camus -- a former executive president at EADS and current boss of French communications services provider Alcatel-Lucent -- as a possible successor to Lagadere.

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