Denis Olivennes

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Person.png Denis Olivennes   Instagram TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, businessman, civil servant)
Denis Olivennes.jpg
Born18 October 1960
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud, Institut d'études politiques de Paris, École nationale d'administration
ParentsArmand Olivennes
Siblings • François Olivennes
• Frédéric Olivennes
SpouseInès de La Fressange
Member ofFrench-American Foundation/Young Leaders/1996, Le Siècle, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1995
Interests • Daniel Kretinsky
• Arnaud Lagardère
French media manager.

Denis Olivennesis a French civil servant, entrepreneur and media manager. He was Deputy Managing Director of Air France, Managing Director of Canal +, Chairman and Managing Director of Fnac, Nouvel Observateur then that of Europe 1 and Lagardère Active.

Since June 2020, Denis Olivennes has been co-manager of the French daily newspaper Libération, where he has been active in creating the fig leaf structures that is supposed to give the newspaper a pretense of "independence" from the owners.

Family and private life

Denis Olivennes, born October 18, 1960 in Paris 16th, is one of the sons of the poet Armand Olivennes (born Olievenstein), the younger brother of François Olivennes, renowned doctor and professor in gynecology and obstetrics , and the nephew of Claude Olievenstein, psychoanalyst and doctor specializing in drug addiction.

He is divorced from Angélique Berès, daughter of Pierre Berès, he is the companion of the ex-model Inès de La Fressange. He is the father of Benjamin Olivennes and Simon Olivennes. Youth and studies

At 15, he was a member of an extreme left-wing small group close to the LCR (Revolutionary Communist League). He later became a member of CERES, classified on the left wing of the Socialist Party, then he approached Laurent Fabius.

A former student of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud, he is a graduate of Institut d'études politiques de Paris and the École nationale d'administration, like the large majority of the French establishment.


Denis Olivennes began his career as an auditor at the Court of Auditors, before becoming in 1992 the advisor to the Minister of Economy and Finance, then to Prime Minister Pierre Bérégovoy. In 1993, he joined the Air France group, where he became Deputy CEO.

He was vetted by the United States in 1996, when he a “Young Leader” of the French-American Foundation.

He left Air France in 1997 and became Chairman and CEO of NC Numéricable. At the same time, he was active in the Saint-Simon Foundation, which brought together business leaders, politicians and senior officials in order to promote liberal ideas.

In June 2000, he was appointed chairman of Canal + France after having been its general manager. Then, receiving severance pay amounting to 3.2 million euros[1], he joined the PPR group (renamed Kering) as general manager of distribution in 2002, then was appointed in 2003 to head Fnac as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. At the head of the company, he led several projects, notably initiating the opening of Fnac stores on the outskirts of large urban areas and developing the site. In 2007, Fnac had one of its best financial years for 10 years.

As boss of Fnac, in 2007 he organized an internship for Pierre, the eldest son of Nicolas Sarkozy, integrated under a false identity[2]. Also in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy entrusted him with a mission which produced the Olivennes report, submitted to the Minister of Culture Christine Albanel, on the fight against sharing on the Internet[3]. The report, at the origin of the Hadopi law, aroused some strong criticism in the National Assembly, in particular from Christian Paul. The consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, for its part, denounced "the repressive escalation"[4].

In March 2008, Denis Olivennes left Fnac and the PPR group (renamed Kering) to join the news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur as deputy managing director and director of publication[5]. “The newspaper recorded a positive result of € 100,000 in 2009 and € 500,000 in 2010. Internet losses have been reduced by 50%. In 2011, the group, including the internet, will finally be in balance, ”explained Denis Olivennes in a published letter of departure[6].

At the end of 2010, he left the magazine to succeed Alexandre Bompard at the head of Europe 1[7]. Within the Lagardère group, he became Chairman and CEO of Europe 1 and responsible for the information center of Lagardère Active (Paris-Match, JDD, Newsweb). On November 7, 2011, he was appointed president of Lagardère Active.

In March 2017, billionaire owner Arnaud Lagardère announced the increase in profitability of Lagardère Active for the financial year 2016[8].

From March 2018, he led the process for cessation of the print editions, international radio, digital and television activities by the Lagardère Group. In July 2018, in an article in Le Figaro, Denis Olivennes revealed his forthcoming departure from Lagardère Active and took stock of his management period by saying that between 2012 and 2017 operating profit increased by 40%.[9]

In January 2019, announcement of the appointment of Denis Olivennes to the non-executive chairmanship of the CMI France group, the media group of Daniel Kretinsky which owns nine titles (Marianne as well as the eight publications bought from Lagardère Active). In an article, Olivennes indicates that Daniel Kretinsky does not want "to lose money with his media, but neither does he expect a profitability comparable to his other activities".[10]

He is president of the support committee of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).[11]


On June 11, 2020, he was appointed co-manager and managing director of the French daily newspaper Libération. “Following the announcement of the creation of the FDPI ('Endowment Fund for an Independent Press') guaranteeing the stability and independence of the shareholders of Liberation, the management of the paper is reinforced: Denis Olivennes is appointed CEO and co-manager of Libération. At the end of the creation of the Endowment Fund, he will take over the chairmanship of Presse Indépendante SAS, the company in charge of newspaper management, of which he will have operational control” specifies an email sent to employees in the newspaper Le Point[12]. In Les Echos[13], his remarks in front of the employees meeting in general assembly are repeated: “I thank Patrick Drahi for the honor which he does me. With the Liberation teams, we will work together to build the future of the newspaper, in fidelity to its history and scrupulous respect for its values ​​as a daily leftist paper."

On September 16, 2020, by a majority of 90.8%, the journalists of Liberation approved Denis Olivennes' proposal to appoint the Franco-Israeli journalist and writer Dov Alfon as editorial director following the vacancy left by Laurent Joffrin. Dov Alfon also becomes director of the publication, replacing Denis Olivennes and co-managing the newspaper with the latter[14].

On September 17 2020, the newspaper Le Point published an interview with Denis Olivennes in which he presented the project for Liberation : "to make Liberation a digital subscription newspaper by modifying its content, its organization and its tools [...] with a "sitting" editorial staff which will deal with immediate current events on the daily's website, and "standing" editorial staff which will produce Libé's own content, that is to say subjects that others have not." . To this end, new high-performance technological tools will be used thanks to the acquisition of the Washington Post's digital content publishing and management software.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/200914 May 200917 May 2009Greece
The 57th Bilderberg
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