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09.02.17

It’s a Family Business: French Succession Plan at EPO After Battistelli’s Departure

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MoU signed by Bergot

Summary: Battistelli is promoting Requena, as expected, while making many other management types redundant

RUMOURS from the EPO suggest that the next President is likely French. But then, adding insult to injury, the long-planned restructuring — in defiance of recommendations from business experts — is being implemented. Guess who’s being put in charge…

“Guess who’s being put in charge…”A late Friday announcement (as usual) from the EPO said this: “Dear Colleagues, As part of the consolidation of the general organisational structure of the Office that was decided in June, the President’s Office, Directorate External Communications, the Chief Economist Unit and the Chief of Protocol Unit have been grouped under the lead “Principal Directorate Presidential Area”. The restructured Presidential Area will foster the internal and external coordination of the preparation and implementation [...] orientations of the Office. In line with the set-up of the new unit as from 1 September 2017, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Gilles Requena, head of President’s Office since 2015, as its Principal Director. I wish Mr Requena every success in his function.”

That was posted yesterday. Funny that nothing is said about the nepotism and family connection. Published on the EPO intranet on September 1st, this message serves to reaffirm much of what we wrote earlier this year. Not much is surprising about it.

“For those who don’t know, Bergot is married to Requena, a former colleague of Battistelli in France.”Speaking to someone who is familiar with these matters, we have more context to it: “In its drive to cut costs the EPO management had decided to merge directorates and reduce the numbers of directors, leaving part of their work to be done by team leaders who would merely get a monthly bonus but no pensionable salary. After months of uncertainty in which all the directors were kept out of the loop it has been announced that a total of 80 positions had been filled (61 as directors for large directorates, 5 as directors [...] opposition directorates and 14 as coordinating directors). What happens with the rest of the roughly two dozens directors not on the appointment list is, after several weeks, still unknown and very much representative for the chaotic management of the EPO under Battistelli and Bergot.” (B&B)

For those who don’t know, Bergot is married to Requena, a former colleague of Battistelli in France.

“However,” continued the above, “if B&B were not able to find a solution for the out of favour directors, they managed to contrapt [sic] Mr. Battistelli´s friend Mr. Requena a principal director´s position. Hardly a surprise, considering that Mr. Requena had fallen behind his wife, Mme. Bergot, when the latter was appointed a principal director after Mr. Battistelli changed the rules in order to allow her to jump from A3 to A6 (impossible under the previous regulations). Having two spouses on different management levels would have ruined the conjugal harmony, so a big thanks to the thoughtful Mr. Battistelli.

“The “swamp” — so to speak — has not been drained. It’s still being filled with yet more of Battistelli’s cronies, who continue to be promoted.”“Jokes aside, the EPO is more and more resembling an African or Central Asian dictatorship, with the ruthless potentate bestowing lucrative court positions on his cronies. What is scary is that the EPO´s descent may continue under the next president who will find it hard to dismantle the crony structure built by Battistelli.”

Yes, as we said before, we don’t expect major changes after Mr. Kongstad and Mr. Battistelli leave the Organisation and the Office, respectively. The “swamp” — so to speak — has not been drained. It’s still being filled with yet more of Battistelli’s cronies, who continue to be promoted.

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