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A close friend of Macron takes the lead of GE France in full restructuring

The new risk of making noise from Belfort to Paris: a relative of Emmanuel Macron has just been appointed CEO of GE France, when the subsidiary of the US giant who bought the energy business of Alstom in 2015 is in full restructuring with hundreds of job cuts to the key. This is Hugh Bailey, 39, currently Director of Public Affairs of GE France, replacing Corinne de Bilbao. This last «decided to leave the Group to give a new boost to his career"Said the group interviewed by Release.

Hugh Bailey, who joined GE in 2017, has the distinction of having been an advisor for industrial affairs and export financing in Emmanuel Macron's firm when he was Minister of Economy of the Valls government between summer 2014 and summer 2016. At the time, Emmanuel Macron had led the sale of Alstom's energy business to General Electric, after closely following the file when he was deputy general secretary of the company. Elysée with François Hollande.

From Bercy to GE

A senior public servant for more than 10 years in the administration, an engineer, and a master's degree in corporate finance at the Paris Institute of Business Administration (IAE), Hugh Bailey studied at the University of Paris. National School of Administration (ENA). He worked in the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), before moving to the Directorate General of the Treasury and join the firm of Emmanuel Macron in Bercy. In this capacity, he has managed major industrial and social issues. His arrival at the helm of GE France is a new illustration of the highly questionable practice of "revolving doors" which regularly sees senior officials land in positions of well-paid responsibilities in the private sector. But in the case of Alstom-GE, it raises a particular question: "Whoever steered the catastrophic sale of Alstom to GE will also be the one who will be responsible for dismembering what remains of the energy branch of Alstom", protests a union representative of GE France. For him, the departure of Corinne de Bilbao shows "A number of leaders of the group leave the ship so as not to have to assume the social plan to come".

Bloodlines to come in Belfort

But it may be even more difficult for Hugh Bailey to assume what is being prepared, given his resume of Emmanuel Macron's former advisor. GE France is indeed in the process of a drastic restructuring of its energy activities: after 700 voluntary departures negotiated in various activities of the group via the new conventional collective break (RCC) set up by the government of Edouard Philippe , the French subsidiary of the American conglomerate is preparing to announce a heavy social plan in its gas turbines business: as revealed Releasenearly 800 jobs would be threatened at the Belfort plant, which employs 1,900 people.

According to our information, an extraordinary works council is scheduled as early as April 30 in Belfort to launch the process of informing employee representatives about this heavy social plan that will inevitably lead to layoffs. The mission of Hugh Bailey is probably to accompany this best bleeding unprecedented in the former factory of Alstom, in close liaison with the government and the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire. But it's "a pyromaniac firefighter from Macron sent to us"Exclaims the trade unionist questioned by Release. To help reconvert the site and the employees who will lose their jobs, the state can count on the check of 50 million euros that had to sign GE for not having created the 1,000 jobs in France promised at the moment the acquisition of Alstom in 2015. But this will probably not be enough to calm the anger of employees and elected officials in the region that directly point to Emmanuel Macron's past and present responsibility in this announced industrial and social disaster.

Jean-Christophe Féraud



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