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Capgemini CEO says to hire new finance chief by November

PARIS (Reuters) - French technology consultancy Capgemini said it would hire a new chief financial officer by early November and maintain its strategy after the departure of its current finance chief for a new post rattled markets on Thursday.

Chief Executive Paul Hermelin said in an interview that he has been contacted by outside candidates and has credible internal ones to replace CFO Nicolas Dufourcq, who will take the helm of France's new public investment bank, BPI.

The Paris-listed company's shares dropped almost 4 percent on Wednesday, one of the biggest losers on France's blue-chip CAC40, before rebounding to close up 0.37 percent.

"The group's strategy is set and approved by the board, it is not up to negotiation with the newcomer," said Hermelin.

Asked whether Europe's ongoing debt crisis was dampening demand, Hermelin said companies were "very cautious" but that the group was on target to reach its full-year goals of organic growth above 1 percent and an improved operating margin.

Dufourcq served as the company's CFO since September 2004 and was appreciated by investors for the way he strengthened the business, Hermelin said. He helped boost the group's operating margin to 7.4 percent last year from 2.7 percent in 2003.

Shares in Capgemini closed 0.37 percent higher on Thursday at 31.51 euros, valuing the company at 4.8 billion euros ($6.28 billion).

(Reporting by Alice Cannet; Editing by Leila Abboud and David Gregorio)

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