The search for the next government continues. For the Secretariat of Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, whatever the future framework of the post, one thing is certain: Cédric O will not be returning. The current minister indicated a few weeks ago that he wanted to leave politics. His next adventure is not yet known.
His departure therefore opens the way for betting on his successor that the date of arrival could take place after the legislative election (if the secretariat still rests with the Ministry of Economy and Finance). Many names regularly appear behind the scenes.
Philippe Englebert, adviser to Emmanuel Macron
He knows all the members of Next40/FT120 and the local venture capital fund. But not everyone knows Philippe Englebert, who is more of a man in the shadows. Since September 2020, this graduate of Sciences Po, Polytechnique and ESCP has been a business, financial services, attractive and export advisor to the President of the Republic and Prime Minister.
Previously, he was a business and technology advisor in the cabinet of Cédric O. This former investment banker also worked for a year and a half in the General Directorate of the Treasury. In particular, he collaborated with Philippe Tibi on a report focused on financing French technology companies. His various experiences led him to publish the book “Les Start-ups en France” in the summer of 2021, published by “Que sais-je?”. And to be very courted: according to La Lettre A, Morgan Stanley approached him but did not comply.
Its advantage: He is well aware of French Tech -related files and is generally highly valued by the ecosystem.
Rania Belkahia, entrepreneur and investor
La République en Marche entrusted him at the beginning of the year – along with deputy Eric Bothorel – with a mission to assess the needs of the French digital ecosystem in view of the presidential election. Rania Belkahia has been immersed in the ecosystem for ten years. In 2013, he founded Afrimarket, an e-commerce platform operating in West Africa, which became receivership six years later. Subsequently, he entered the world of venture capital by joining EQT Ventures, a branch of the Swedish management company EQT Partners. This engineer by training is notably on the board of directors of French insurtech Luko.
Its advantage: his double role as an investor and founder of start-ups as well as his French and international network.
Eric Bothorel, the expert representative
Along with Rania Belkahia, she is the other member of Emmanuel Macron’s digital campaign task force. To the question “are you interested in the position of Secretary of State?” “, he replied:” who is not? This Paimpol-born Breton has been the representative for the fifth constituency of Côtes-d’Armor since May 2017. He specializes in digital issues and has produced several reports on sector issues: mobile and digital coverage of the territory, the future of European cybersecurity, digital taxation …
He was one of several French MPs, along with Pierre Person, Jean-Michel Mis and Laure de La Raudière (now president of Arcep), to support the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem. This Twitter follower was elected to the general council of Côtes-d’Armor from 2011 to 2015. Prior to his political career, Eric Bothorel cut his teeth at IT distributor Infopoint (bought by Econocom) and GE Capital.
Its advantage: he knows all the political cogs and has strong territorial roots.
Alexander Zapolsky, the defender of sovereignty
Once he left school in May 2000, Alexandre Zapolsky founded Linagora, an open source software publisher (secure file sharing, calendars, videoconferencing, office automation, etc.) of which he is still president and largest shareholder . Some of its tools are used by major French administrations. This Toulon native also created the SS2L Association, which became FNILL (National Federation of the Free Software Industry) and founded, with more than 15 African professional federations, the Alliance for Digital Development, with the aim of organizing and developing African digital.
Alexandre Zapolsky has been a member of En Marche since 1eh day. “I support the President of the Republic and his action. I totally assume it (so don’t come near and argue with me on the subject!). I am proud to say that we have been friends for over fifteen years, ”he wrote in his bio on LinkedIn.
Its advantage: his perfect mastery of the world of free software and therefore his defense of digital sovereignty, a very political subject.
Henri Verdier, the digital ambassador
Henri Verdier is a well -known figure in the digital world. Since November 2018, he has been an ambassador for digital affairs. A position consisting of representing France in international institutions on all topics related to digital (cybersecurity, freedom of expression, network management, etc.). This graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure was formerly head of the Interministerial Directorate for Digital and the State Information and Communication System (Dinsic).
He is also the general data administrator whose role is to manage and improve the data usage of the administration and its operators. From 2013 to 2015, Henri Verdier led Etalab’s mission, notably coordinating the policy of openness and sharing of public data. His entire career has not been made public. For example, he is responsible for innovation along with business development director of Lagardère and managing director of Odile Jacob Multimedia.
Its advantage: his expertise in technical subjects and his diplomatic cap.
Frédéric Mazzella, the iconic boss of French Tech
He is one of the well -known personalities of French Tech, if not the best known. Frédéric Mazzella is the founding president of BlaBlaCar. Since the end of 2018, he has also been co-president of the France Digitale association, which brings together more than 1,800 French tech entrepreneurs and investors. He has also invested in numerous start-ups in recent years such as Le Slip Français, Zenpark, Onoff (telecoms) and La Vie (alternative protein).
He is also a member of the board of directors of Polytechnique and Renault. With his many hats, he lacks politics. “I want to go back to entrepreneurship, but I face one subject, stay tuned! he confessed to “Echos” on the occasion of the release of his book “Mission BlaBlaCar: behind the scenes of creation of a phenomenon”. A book that clearly recalls the success of BlaBlaCar but turns out to be largely a guide for apprentice entrepreneurs, with advice and ways of winning from other start-ups.
Its advantage: its popularity and its involvement in France Digitale. But if he holds the position, he will have to step back on some issues.