CMA CGM announced on Tuesday an overhaul to its organisational structure that sees the French liner giant appoint a new chief financial officer (CFO) and moves the old one to run the owner’s private investments.

Ramon Fernandez, a former French government official and current senior executive at mobile phone company Orange, will become CFO at CMA CGM from the start of the second quarter of 2023.

“I am glad to begin a new adventure on the side of Rodolphe Saade at CMA CGM, a group in full strategic development,” Fernandez tweeted shortly after the announcement he is leaving Orange, where he served as deputy chief executive officer (CEO) for finance, performance and development and for Europe.

At CMA CGM, a corporate giant that booked $20bn in revenue in the third quarter, Fernandez will replace Michel Sirat who has been the company’s CFO for 11 years.

The overhaul comes after CMA CGM’s chairman and chief executive officer Rodolphe Saade “decided to strengthen and adapt the Group’s organisational structure in an environment marked by an increasing number of financial, strategic and development challenges,” the company said in a statement.

Just like Sirat before him, Fernandez will also hold the title of executive vice president.

As a member of CMA CGM’s executive committee and its subsidiary CEVA Logistics, his job will be to steer “the financial steering of the Group and its subsidiaries, in particular cost control, financing, and investor relations”.

Sirat’s replacement is anything but a demotion. The CMA CGM veteran will remain in charge of group strategy, mergers and acquisitions and he also becomes head of the Saade family office.

When it comes to hiring, Saade follows a pattern that's all too familiar within the French establishment.

Both Sirat and Fernandez are graduates of the prestigious Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) and Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) schools in Paris.

They both began their careers at the French Treasury, worked for a spell at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington and then returned home to work for the French government again and then jump to private industry.