The CEO of France Telecom-Orange, Stephane Richard, has spoken out against a proposal by a group representing employees to cut the proposed annual shareholder dividend from EUR1.40 (USD1.83) to EUR1.00. ‘I see no logical reason, whether economic or political, why we should deprive our shareholders of this return,’ Bloomberg quotes Richard as saying. ‘Our results in 2011 have given us the financial ability to pay EUR1.40 per share,’ he added. Shareholders will vote on the 2011 dividend at the annual general meeting on 5 June. Employee investment fund Adeas, which controls almost 5% of the telco’s shares, are proposing that the company cut its dividend payout in order to free up capital to reduce the group’s debts or fund further network investments.