Guillaume Poupard, the director of France’s national cybersecurity agency, confirmed he is leaving his role at the end of the year in a post on LinkedIn.
Writing in French with a few emojis, the agency’s chief said he would be departing from ANSSI — the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information (the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems) — at the end of the year.
He wrote about the collision of very strong feelings of “happiness, pride, exhaustion…” and a touch of nostalgia, but was already looking forward to his next job, which he did not announce.
Poupard, a career security professional both at ANSSI’s predecessor agency and the French Ministry of Defence, praised the “extraordinary mission serving the general interest, our fellow citizens, [and] our national security,” which he said had been accompanied by “a few humiliations” as a regular reminder to stay humble.
Before joining public service, Poupard trained as a cryptographer and previously was the head of France’s cryptography laboratory at DCSSI — Direction centrale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information (Central Network and Information Security Directorate), which became ANSSI in 2009.
He praised the “simply wonderful” experts at ANSSI and said it was in all of France’s interest “to preserve them from administrative stupidity” and to give them what they needed to succeed in the long-term.
He also joked the agency’s mission had allowed him to meet “quelques de classe internationale” which might best be translated as world-class [expletives].
Poupard’s successor at ANSSI has not yet been announced.