Exclusive: IKEA France boss oversaw secret espionage on sick manager's private life

In a significant development of the spying scandal engulfing Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, Mediapart has exclusively obtained evidence that the managing director of Ikea France personally took part in an underhand espionage operation that illegally trawled for information into the personal life of one of the company’s senior staff. Documents accessed by Mediapart and published here reveal how Jean-Louis Baillot, head of the company’s French operations from 1996 to 2009, and who is now Ikea’s director for international commercial operations, was aware, approved of and encouraged the surveillance methods used by Ikea France security chief Jean-François Paris to hound and bait the company’s deputy director of communications and interior store planning, Virginie Paulin. Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathilde Mathieu report.

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In a significant development of the spying scandal surrounding Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, Mediapart has obtained evidence that the managing director of Ikea France personally took part in an underhand espionage operation that used illegal methods to gain information about the personal life of one of the company’s senior staff.