Sophia : Bernard Plano, the new CEO of Istar
The world leader of digital cartography for mobile telecommunications reorganizes its board of directors to strengthen the synergies with EADS, its principal shareholder.
A change at the head of /www.istar.com">Istar, the start-up from Sophia Antipolis which has become the world leader of digital cartography for mobile telecommunications : Bernard Plano takes over Christian Lemay at the head of the company. Bernard Plano, a ENSEA and CPA engineer, 56, has made his whole career in the Matra group, now EADS, where he was a senior manager, especially in the space field. At the moment he is the CEO of Matra Systèmes et Information (MS&I) and international and business development Executive vice-president of EADS' Business Unit Defence Electronics.An acceleration of the international developmentSuch a nomination goes with a reorganization of the board of directors which has been made around the new CEO Bernard Plano and two managing directors : Laurent Renouard and Jean-Paul Arif. Laurent Renouard, 38, graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique, is the founder of Istar. Laurent Renouard, the company managing director since the creation in 1988, is at the moment located in Washington, in charge of the development of the American subsidiary, Istar Americas.Jean-Paul Arif, 39, an ENST and CPA Lagardère engineer, is at the origin of the Matra's Space Images Processing Laboratory. The new managing director is at the moment the director of the 'Image and Geometry' activity gathering the SIG activities and the observation of earth by EADS subsidiaries : MS&I, Istar, APIC and Fleximage.Such nominations at the head of one the great company of the Telecom valley on the French Riviera are not neutral. They show a strengthening of synergies between Istar and EADS, its principal shareholder. They foreshadow the acceleration of the international development policy of a company resulting from an INRIA spin-off and which has already grown (120 employees at the moment and a turnover 2000 of 85 million francs).