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Shot Down in mid-Flight

Alcatel Alsthom: Shot Down in mid-Flight (2002)
(Full text)

Chapter VIII - Reaching the Summit

Et je dis à mes yeux qui lui trouvaient des charmes :
Ailleurs tous vos regards, ailleurs toutes vos larmes,
Aimez ce que jamais on ne verra deux fois.

(And I said to my eyes which noted her charm:
Always focus your eyes elsewhere, always focus your tears elsewhere,
Love what one will never see a second time.)
Alfred de Vigny, La Maison du berger


Chapter IX - The Tarpeian Rock

…et tacitum vivit sub pectore vulnus.
(...and a silent wound lives under her chest.)
Virgil, The Aeneid


Chapter X - Politics and Accusations: The "Affairs"

La rançon des grandes actions, c’est la bassesse quand elle prend sa revanche.
(The price of great acts, it’s baseness when it takes its revenge.)
Charles de Gaulle



Quel plus terrible fléau que l'injustice qui a les armes à la main.
(What more terrible curse than injustice with arms in hand.)
Aristotle, Metaphysics



Letter from the Chairman of CGE dated December 12, 1983
My response to the December 12, 1983
Letter Concerning Salvation
Note to the Chairman of CGE concerning LTT (November 1983)
CGE-ITT Agreement – December 1986
Address of Pierre Suard presented to the Académie des Sciences of Lyon on December 22, 1987
(Dissertation – Académie des Sciences, Belles-lettres et Arts de Lyon pour l’année 1987)
Letter from Chancellor Kohl dated November 27, 1990 in Reaction to the October 3, 1990
Letter Addressed to Alcatel’s German Employees on the Occasion of the Reunification of Germany
Open letter from the Shareholder Employees of Alcatel Alsthom to the Minister of Justice and the Response of the Minister of Justice

<< Epilogue   -   Cover of the book >>

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Cover of the book

Charged on March 10, 1995 and subjected to a draconian judicial control—on the basis of facts which, seven years later, still have not been proven, much less judged—Pierre Suard had no choice but to resign. That day, the slaying of the Chairman of Alcatel Alsthom ended a grand ambition.

The Alcatel Alsthom Group, an essentially French company at the beginning of the 1980s, had become, ten years later, the uncontested world leader in telecommunications and cables and one of the top companies in transport and energy. It was an exceptional success, due to the work of a management team joined around a man who knew how to make it share a great dream. The Suard era was a period of audacity, imagination and tenacity, and one that saw the emergence on the world scene of one of the most beautiful jewels of French industry.

With the departure of the man who incarnated this spirit of conquest—and the radical changes undertaken by his successor—Alcatel Alsthom was abruptly stopped in its flight…. When anything was permitted, the company soon lost most of its business activities, its name, its world rank. Seven years later one still does not know where this descent into hell will end. The work of Pierre Suard, if it provokes controversy, is not a pro domo defense. With a necessary hindsight, pressed by those who like him believed in this great dream, this captain of industry submits, for the reflection of all, an edifying account of what transpired. He gives his interpretation of the events that interrupted this unique industrial and human adventure, to the astonishment of many. What a waste!

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