France bids to reverse tech brain drain

Hugh Schofield:

A popular French TV advert for pasta sauce from the 1980s showed a jolly rustic fellow chasing after a train that was laden with all sorts of lovely food.

“Reviens Leon! (Come back, Leon!),” shouts his portly wife. “I’ve got the same at home.”

Today the catchphrase “Reviens Leon!” has been commandeered for a very different campaign: to lure back to France the thousands of tech whizz-kids who spent the last decade fleeing abroad.

In an open letter in Le Monde, the heads of 10 successful French start-ups pleaded with Silicon Valley expatriates to book their return flights to Paris.