In theory, French shareholders have a great deal of power, even more than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. But in practise, the C.E.O. is a sort of monarch who is under little threat of shareholder control, notably due to the fact that French law puts the company’s interests before the shareholders’. This French exception often astounds foreigners.
However, the logic of financial markets and the American influence with financial globalisation will mean new types of relationships between French companies and their shareholders. Or at least, this is the direction taken by the Lafarge Group.
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