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The hour of truth for Cédric O, “Monsieur StopCovid”

Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in Paris, May 14. Abel Llavall-Ubach / Hans Lucas for M Le magazine du Monde

From the shadow to the light. Any normally constituted politician waits, hopes for that moment. The one that will make you exist for good. Or disappear forever. You were only an almost anonymous secretary of state for digital technology, and you then became Cédric O. You finally went on television. We invite you to the big radio mornings. You are entering bistro conversations (when they are reopened).

We're not there yet. Treasurer of En Marche! during the campaign, then advisor to the Elysee Palace, loyal to the faithful of the Head of State, Cédric O built his career behind the scenes. And that suited him very well. His appointment to the digital secretariat in March 2019, to replace Mounir Mahjoubi, had not changed much. But, Wednesday May 27, Cédric O has an appointment. He will be before the National Assembly to defend his StopCovid application, which is supposed to make it possible to identify and contact people who have been in contact with a sick person infected with the virus.

“If my adventure were to end there, it wouldn't be very serious. »Cédric O

It’s her baby. A baby who sowed a sacred bazaar within the presidential majority. Among the slinging LRM deputies who slammed the door of La République en route this week to go and create a new group at the National Assembly, many have slipped into their basket of grievances this StopCovid application. Suffice to say that Cédric O may have a chance to become a politician.

Don't imagine that this 38-year-old HEC graduate, father of two, is likely to hide behind the pile of his files. No, Cédric O is of an alloy, very Macronian, composed of a very great assurance and a little detachment. “If my adventure were to end there, it would not be very serious”, he says from his Bercy office, in shirt sleeves. At first, he speaks quickly, cash and clearly. At the same time he says that serving the state is what is there “More exciting in life” but that, tomorrow, he will return to where he comes from, that is to say in a large industrial group – he worked for Safran, specialized in aeronautics, space and defense, from 2014 to 2017 .

A band takes shape

The son of a Korean engineer who arrived in France in 1976 and a French teacher entered politics by accident. From 6 to 18 years old, he only thinks of one thing: becoming a paratrooper officer in the Foreign Legion. Lightning fell on him the day his father gave him a plastic soldiers' box. But, at 18, his dream shatters on an emerging myopia. Good student, he entered HEC.

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