Thierry Breton, former French finance minister, is to join Harvard Business School as a professor of management. The first course he will teach will be on leadership and corporate accountability.

Mr Breton is well-known in France as former chairman of France Telecom, where he worked from 2002 to 2005, as well as for being the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry between February 2005 and May 2007. He was replaced by politician Jean-Louis Borloo in the latter role.

One of France’s business élite, Mr Breton is a knight of the Légion d’honneur and an officer of the Ordre National du Mérite. He has served on Harvard Business School’s European advisory board.

Jay Light, dean of Harvard Business School, says Mr Breton’s appointment is part of the growing internationalisation of the school, an acknowledgement that issues such as corporate accountability have different nuances in different cultures. “He’s going to teach the students but more importantly he’s going to teach the faculty,” says Prof Light.

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