Stéphane Richard graduated from HEC Paris in 1982, and in 1987 – from the National School of Administration in Strasburg (Promotion Fernand Braudel)
After graduation from HEC Paris, Stéphane Richard began his professional career as a financial inspector. Then, having obtained a diploma from the National School of Administration, Stéphane Richard began rapidly climbing political ladder. In 1989, he was elected as a Councilor of Bandol from the center-left coalition. Later, in 1991, he became a technical advisor at the office of the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, headed by Dominique Strauss-Kahn at that time.. However, political agenda of Stéphane Richard was not specifically leftist. Few years later, in 2007, Richard joined the team of Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment, as a chief of staff. When Christine Lagarde took office, Richard’s contract was subsequently prolonged until 2009. Stéphane Richard is not only a successful politician. In 1992, he was hired by Jean-Marie Messier from the General Water Company, as a finance director. Then, he held various positions in private companies, such as Assistant to the CFO at the Phoenix Real Estate Company, and President of Nexity Company. Subsequently, he was invited to join Veolia: between 2003 and 2007, Stéphane Richard served as a Deputy Director of Veolia Environment and CEO of Veolia Transportation. In 2009, he moved to France Telecom. At first, he was in charge of international business of the company, and in October 2009, he became a Deputy General Director of Orange France. In 2010, he was appointed as a General Director of the company, and one year later, on 1 March 2011, he succeeded Didier Lombard as a CEO. One of the major achievements of Stéphane Richard at Orange was that he managed to resolve severe social issues within the Group. Indeed, the company experienced difficult years and faced a series of employee suicides. France Telecom management was under investigation for moral harassment.
In May 2014, contract of Stéphane Richard was extended for another four years. In 2013, he was ranked #80 among highest paid managers.
In June 2013, Stéphane Richard was placed under suspicion of fraud by a Paris court in the Tapie’s affaire. Stéphane Richard was questioned about his role as chief-of-staff to IMF chief Christine Lagarde. As a result of Tapie’s affaire, the French government has lost 403 billion Euro to business tycoon Bernard Tapie in a dispute with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the botched sale of his stake in sportswear company Adidas.