What the French Know About Globalization (A Lot More Than They're Letting On...)

A tale of two companies — appropriately enough, one in London and the other in Paris. Orange, the wireless telephone operator, looks very much like a British firm. Launched in the U.K. in 1994 by subjects of the Queen (a Canadian backed with Hong Kong money), it has become one of the country's best-known brands and its most popular mobile network, with more than 12 million active subscribers in Britain. Its current CEO lives in Kensington and goes to work in W1. But Jean-François Pontal is also a Frenchman who was sent to Orange by France Télécom, the partly state-owned...

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