Wednesday 21 March 2018

Where are they now? Pierre Danon


THERE were high hopes when the Frenchman took a lead role at Eircom -- but some would argue it was plus ça change when he departed.

His career began at Rank Xerox where he worked for nearly two decades, progressing to head up Xerox Europe. Danon joined the BT Group in 2001 and ran its all-important home and business retail division. He led the UK telco's fightback against low-cost rivals and rising mobile phone use with such aplomb that senior peers were said to view him as a threat.

His move to the COO job at Capgemini was a surprise and thought to be due to his not getting the advancement he wanted at BT. He unceremoniously got the elbow from Capgemini when it emerged he had interviewed for a job at French hotel group Accor. He lost out on the Accor job and joined JP Morgan as a senior adviser on telecoms.

Following Babcock & Brown's €2.36bn takeover of Eircom in 2006, Danon became executive chairman.

Hopes were high that his financial and industry nous would see Eircom's €4bn debt, tumbling landline revenues and local loop unbundling issues tackled. Danon said that he and Babcock were in things for "five years plus".

He departed just two years later however, not long after the Government rejected Eircom's national high-speed broadband roll-out plan. Soon Eircom's owners were planning its fifth sale.

Danon took up the job of CEO at the French telecom companies Numericable and Completel. Last March he moved to a non-executive role focusing on financial matters there. He's also on the board of Danish telco TDC.

He's married to Laurence Danon, a former boss of Gucci-owned Printemps and a director of Diageo. They live in Paris with their two children.

Sunday Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business