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Jean Carteron
January 2010 (vol. 32 no. 1)
pp. 82-89
Pierre-E. Mounier-Kuhn, CNRS and Université Paris-Sorbonne

Born in Paris in 1926 and educated as a telecom engineer, Jean Carteron created the scientific computing department of Electricité de France in 1952. He then moved to the computer service industry, first within SEMA, then as founder and chairman of STERIA. He was also active in learned societies, as cofounder of the French computing society (AFCET) and as general secretary of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).

1. J. Carteron, Steria: 30 Ans de Création Continue, Le Cherche-Midi, 1999, p. 191. Carteron's book is the main source for this present biography, along with the many conversations and interviews I had with him and a few boxes of personal and company archives conserved in Carteron's house near Paris. In later paragraphs, unattributed quotations are from this book and these interviews.
2. J. Carteron, "Naissance du calcul électronique en France," Colloque sur l'histoire de l'informatique en France, INPG, 1988, pp. 103–112; and oral interview with P. Mounier-Kuhn Paris, 16 June 1998.
3. J. Carteron, "Revue des moyens de calcul actuels," EDF internal report, 1953. "Calcul analogique ou calcul numérique? Conflit ou harmonie?" Chiffres, vol. II, no. 4, 1959, pp. 239–248; this paper was based on the session organized by Carteron at the 1959 IFIP conference.
4. I.L. Auerbach, "The Start of IFIP: Personal Recollections," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 8, no. 2, 1986, pp. 180–192; J. Carteron, "Memories of Bygone Times," 36 Years of IFIP, H. Zemanek ed., IFIP, 1996, .
5. C. Hoffsaes, "The French Society of Computer Scientists: AFCET," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 12, no. 3, 1990, pp. 167–176.
6. P.-E. Mounier-Kuhn, L'Informatique en France de la Seconde Guerre mondiale au Plan Calcul. L'émergence d'une science, Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2010.
7. B. Delapalme et al., "Note confidentielle sur les calculatrices électroniques," Commissariat Général au Plan, COPEP, 1963.
8. J. Carteron, "L'informatique à l'ère des systèmes," Introductory lecture to the 4th AFIRO Congress, Dunod & CNRS, 1965, p. 413.
9. J. Carteron's, Steria,, p. 14; and oral interview with P. Mounier-Kuhn, Grenoble, 20 Nov. 2001.
10. J. Carteron's archives. On SEMA, see J. Lesourne & R., Armand, "A Brief History of the First Decade of SEMA," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 13, no. 4, 1991, pp. 341–349.
11. J. Carteron's, Steria. A Steria executive, Max de Ferran, wrote an early historical overview, "Steria: 20 Ans de Service," 2e Colloque sur l'histoire de l'informatique en France, P. Mounier-Kuhn, and P. Chatelin ed., CNAM, 1990.
12. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 18.
13. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 51.
14. J. Carteron, "Exposé de synthèse sur les systèmes de programmation et langages spécialisés," Colloque International sur la Téléinformatique, Chiron, vol. 2, 1969, pp. 895–904.
15. , To avoid a misunderstanding, I don't mean that patriots could not work in multinationals, nor that all French companies' employees were nationalists. In Carteron's personal case, several key decisions were clearly motivated by the will to serve his country's economy directly.
16. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 63. Carteron's archives contain an account of the meeting with Thomson's envoys.
17. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 167. The revenue split in 1999 was still 68% from projects against 32% from facilities management (Steria Annual Report, 1999).
18. Just as it had resisted the wave of mergers of the 1970s, Steria stood apart of the massive transfer of ownership of French computer service companies to American pension funds or IT majors in the 1990s. Even today, employees own 15.9% of Steria, while Carteron owns 4.18%.
19. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 69.
20. Steria, Annual Reports, 1999 & 2000.
21. J. Carteron's, Steria, p. 191.

Index Terms:
AFCET, Banque Nationale de Paris, Bull, Carteron, capital risk, computer service industry, Electricité de France, facilities management, Honeywell-Bull Services, IFIP, Leasco, Minitel, Ross Perot, SEMA, software industry, STERIA.
Pierre-E. Mounier-Kuhn, "Jean Carteron," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 82-89, Jan. 2010, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2010.23
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