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    Questions surround CV of new Proximus boss

    Guillaume Boutin, new CEO of Proximus, who took up his post on 1 December © Proximus Group

    Questions have been raised regarding the accuracy of the CV presented by the man appointed as the new CEO of telecoms company Proximus to succeed Dominique Leroy.

    Guillaume Boutin was appointed CEO at the end of last month, for a period of six years. According to the Proximus website announcing the appointment, Boutin is from Tours in France and “holds a Master’s degree in Corporate Finance (HEC Paris) and an Executive MBA (INSEAD)”.

    INSEAD is considered one of the world’s top business schools, having turned out numerous top executives, as well as former Conservative party leaders William Hague, former economics journalist Will Hutton, film director Peter Fudakowski and skier Andrew Noble.

    But Boutin’s qualifications were called into question yesterday in Parliament by N-VA member Michael Freilich, who revealed that Boutin had in fact never graduated from the Executive MBA programme at INSEAD. In fact he had simply attended a “course for executives”. De Standaard today reports that Proximus has since amended the information on its website. However as the above link shows, that is not everywhere the case.

    Freilich demanded to know how false information came to appear on the site of Proximus, which is part-owned by the Belgian state and thus open to closer scrutiny than private companies. Proximus and Boutin alike attributed the problem to a simple error.

    But Freilich claims the false information has been circulating online for at least two years, when Boutin left Canal+ in 2017 to join Proximus as Chief Consumer Market Officer. The press release for that appointment, still available on the Proximus site, also mentions Boutin’s Executive MBA, without further details.

    Two weeks ago Trends Tendances magazine published initial doubts over Boutin’s CV, again claiming that following their enquiries, Proximus had adapted the information on Boutin. However The Brussels Times has established that this is true for the corporate page on Proximus executives, but is still not the case for the press release in English (link above) and the same page in French, and in Dutch. Proximus continues to publish information on its CEO it knows and has admitted to be false.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times