IDATE DigiWorld

François has been the Chairman of IDATE DigiWorld since 2011.

François is an entrepreneurial and corporate veteran of the digital technology sector, which he discovered in 1977 when given his first computer as a gift for passing his baccalaureate. And the passion for new technologies it ignited has never left him.

He is the President and founder of FDB Partners SPRL, a consulting and investment firm specialised in media and telecommunications technologies, and publishing.

François also participates in conferences around the globe. He is a member of several boards of directors and advisory boards, for public and private companies, private equity funds and foundations.

He began his career at IBM as a researcher in robotics and artificial intelligence before going on to create, then sell, several companies.

François then served as a senior executive with a number of major multinationals, including Lucent Technologies, where he was CEO of Lucent EMEA. Later, as their international CEO, François oversaw the integration of 38 Lucent acquisitions in the Internet and telecommunications sector.

He went on to join BT and became CEO of BT Global Services, sitting on the BT Group PLC Board of Directors. François made BT Global Services the world leader in IT network services, with a division that employed 37,000 people operating in 176 countries, in addition to shepherding the acquisition of 32 companies from around the globe in four years, which represented $17 billion in revenue.

He simultaneously headed up BT Innovate, the group’s advanced R&D and innovation division, in addition to chairing and sponsoring numerous initiatives with some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

François remains very active at the WEF (Davos and regional forums) and created and then chaired the BT Global advisory board (60 world-class leaders from around the globe).