Bernard Arnault formalizes the departure of Nicolas Barré from the editorial department

His successor at the head of the LVMH group’s economic daily should be known in the coming days.

Claudia Cohen
et Philippe Larroque

Posted update

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Nicolas Barré during an editorial conference, December 20, 2022. Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Warning shot within the drafting of echoes. After ten years of good and loyal service, the editorial director of the economic daily, Nicolas Barré, leaves his post. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Group’s Chairman and CEO Les Echos-Le Parisien (subsidiary of LVMH, owned by Bernard Arnault), Pierre Louette, had formalized his departure with the teams, confirming information from Letter A published a few hours earlier. The CEO had mentioned a “concerted decision» and a departure of Nicolas Barré for «personal reasons“. A press release published on Wednesday formalized the news, explaining that Nicolas Barré was “called to occupy new functions within the editorial staff”.

“I am very happy that Nicolas Barré has chosen to continue his journey within the Les Échos group with a new role. I would like to thank him for his career of more than 10 years at the head of the editorial staff, where he demonstrated his great editorial and managerial qualities.“, declares Bernard Arnault in the press release.

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From now on, François Vidal, close collaborator of Nicolas Barré and current deputy director of the editorial staff, is approached to ensure the interim, pending the appointment of a successor. “The succession of Nicolas Barré is well underway“, had simply specified Tuesday Pierre Louette with the journalists. According to the statutes of the economic newspaper, the editorial staff will be called upon to vote on whether or not to approve the appointment of Nicolas Barré’s successor.

Also a columnist for Europe 1, Nicolas Barré, aged 57, is in echoes for fifteen years. A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and the Journalist Training Center, he began his career by joining the finance and markets department of the daily newspaper and had notably worked as a foreign correspondent for the title (in Tokyo and New York). Nicolas Barré also worked in 2006 as editor of the Figaro, occupying the position of Deputy Managing Editor. In 2008, he returned to echoes as deputy editor.

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Green financial indicators

The reasons for his departure remain unclear in the eyes of some employees, who say they are surprised by the news, according to our information. The financial indicators are indeed looking good for Les Échos. End of 2021, the title returned to balance for the first time since 2008. At that time, the daily’s turnover amounted to 90 million euros. At the end of 2022, the Les Echos-Le Parisien group as a whole recorded a turnover of 430 million euros, including a hundred million for the daily newspaper which has some 200 journalists. The economic newspaper alone had 102,000 digital subscribers, which represented three quarters of its paid circulation in France (at 138,421 copies, up 1.3% over one year), according to the ACPM.

According to the unions, several articles in the newspaper did not please the shareholder. For its part, the Society of Journalists (SDJ) expressed its concern for the “independence” of Les Echos. When other sources refer rather to “desires elsewhere and changesfrom Nicolas Barré.

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This departure comes just a few weeks after Henri Gibier was replaced as editor of the supplement. Weekend Echoes by Jean-Francis Pécresse. The latter had left the management of the Radio Classique station last summer.

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