Former Vivendi boss to run France's Thales
US-THALES-SUCCESSION:Former Vivendi boss to run France's Thales
ISTRES, France (Reuters) - French defense electronics group Thales will name former Vivendi chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy as its new chief executive on Thursday, the head of key shareholder Dassault Aviation said.
The French state and jet maker Dassault Aviation, which own 27 and 26 percent of Thales respectively, have agreed to appoint Levy to replace Luc Vigneron at the head of Thales, Dassault CEO Charles Edelstenne said on Wednesday.
Levy stepped down in June as CEO of French media-to-telecoms conglomerate Vivendi over a strategy dispute with its supervisory board.
Vigneron has faced sustained criticism from within Thales as he pushed through a program of spending cuts.
The news comes a day after Dassault Aviation said Eric Trappier, the head of its international operations, would take over as CEO when Edelstenne reaches retirement age in January.
Aerospace and defense group EADS holds 46.3 percent of Dassault Aviation.
(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Christian Plumb and James Regan)