Telecoms group Orange's board backs new 4-year mandate for Richard

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The board of French telecoms group Orange on Tuesday voted in favor of renewing the mandate of company head Stephane Richard for another four years, it said in a statement.

The board backed Richard's general strategy for the company, adding that the decision to renew his mandate would be put before the shareholders of Orange at the company's annual general meeting in May.

Richard has been under pressure due to the fact that he faced charges over his role in paying businessman Bernard Tapie about 400 million euros ($494 million) in compensation from public funds in 2008, when Richard was chief of staff to then French finance minister Christine Lagarde.

Richard has denied any wrongdoing.

($1 = 0.8100 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta Editing by Ingrid Melander)