David Azema, SNCF vice chief executive. © DR
While the French governement launched a Rail Conference (Les Assises du ferroviaire) in September 2011 in order to discuss the railway system weaknesses and suggest reforms by January 2012, David Azéma, 50 years old, former SNCF general manager for Finance and strategy was appointed deputy CEO of the group in charge of strategy.
"He is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy of SNCF group (which turnover amounted to €30.5 billion euros in 2010), and its development in France and abroad.
France is due to deregulate domestic railway lines by 2019, and to some changes in the rail industry might come up before with the conclusions of the Rail Conference. SNCF president Guillaume Pepy considers the split up of the French rail into two entities, Réseau Ferré de France in charge of infrastructures on one side, and the operator on the other, implemented in 1997, has no the future.