One who was one of the closest François Mitterand died Sunday at the age of 93.
He was released last year its Memory, a paved 700 pages, certainly insufficient to condense its exceptional trajectory. Sunday, André Rousselet died peacefully at his home in Paris, in his eighty-fourth year. “He was just tired with age,” testified one of his son, Philippe Rousselet.
Magistrate training, André Rousselet had several lives at the intersection of politics, media and business. Human power, he was above all a most loyal of François Mitterrand, who had spotted him when he had landed “by chance” in the prefects and he was several times one of the closest collaborators before becoming the first director of cabinet in 1981.
one of the first strong gestures, showing its hardened temperament, was the resignation of the administration after the arrival of General de Gaulle in 1958. Abrupt turn to join the external relations department of the Simca car manufacturer. It depresses there but became owner in 1960 of one of its subsidiaries, G7, among the first companies Parisian taxi. He modernized and done in a few years a formidable “cash machine” that gives it its fortune.
In the 1970s, he returned to the business, this time policies. Already fundraiser for the presidential campaign of 1974, it is again the maneuver guy dejouany 1981, the President of the General Water Company, will bring him in person a suitcase full of 3 million francs banknotes. Under the Mitterrand era, the life of this caustic and cruel businessman, connoisseur of networks is accelerating.
President of Havas in 1982 and co-founder and head of Canal + from 1984 André Rousselet remained loyal to the former president, he was the executor. It was a real intimate, one of the very few in particular to know the existence of Mazarine, the secret daughter of the president.
The adventure on Canal + who is considered the father of “spirit Canal” will last ten years. A boom in every respect. The fledgling pay channel throw to the winds the codes of the TV dad, put on sport, cinema and porn Saturday night. The French are discovering another way of looking at the small screen, more free and impertinent. “He was a visionary, an entrepreneur who had a long view and the creation of Canal +, at the time, was to have twenty years ahead, so we owe him a lot,” said Michel Denisot , one of the historic leaders of Canal +.
Still, early in 1984, is difficult. Nobody hustles to enter the capital. “When I explained that it was pay television, I encounter the same suspicious disbelief as found by those who had first suggested to sell bottled water,” says André Rousselet in his Memoirs . The man eventually overcome the reluctance. “Without intelligence Rousselet, without combativeness, his obstinacy, Canal + would not exist,” said the former Minister of Culture Jack Lang, now president of the Institute of the Arab world. The suite will also be complicated. André Rousselet will face financial losses that will go to threaten the existence of Canal +. The pay channel will not its salvation to the intervention of François Mitterrand.
He will resign noisily in 1994, when a new shareholders’ agreement concluded between Havas, the General Water Company and Societe Generale, Canal + puts almost Trust. He published in Le Monde a forum entitled “Edward kill me” … He makes shots but his eyes can be worn elsewhere. André Rousselet had something to do between the G7 and contemporary art, of which he was a passionate and knowledgeable collector. Sunday, Dominique Farrugia, another leading figure in mind Canal, twittait “André Rousselet left. Without it, nothing would have been possible. Goodbye President. “
1922 Born in Nancy
1960 G7 Owner of the
1981 François Mitterrand Chief of Staff
1982 Chairman of Havas
1984 Canal +
1994 Canal Resignation +
2016 Death in Paris