I'm of several minds about this topic of rank-v-emploi, etc. Several different points of view seem to me to be equally reasonable.
I read the article (lovely photos) and wondered the same thing, that they thought he had too limited an employ to be promoted. If so, it's a pity, I think. "etoile" doesn't mean "danseur noble," or "danseur classique," and there have always been great danseurs de demicaracteres. I would think they could still promote him and still cast him appropriately.
This is going to sound heartless, but my one view of Thibault made me think there was no reason to promote him. Not because he wasn't a virtuoso (he was) but because he had already acheived his niche as a soloist. He looked too reedy to be partnered with a ballerina except in "exotic" roles like Bluebird, and he was doing them already as a sujet. Agreed that there is a vast portion of the repertory that I didn't see Thibault in, so I could be way off base about him personally (and wouldn't mind being corrected) but isn't the reason to promote a dancer
You must see that in POB now, premier danseurs must dance as etoile, must be able to replace etoile at every moment, they must be partner they are etoile without title elsewhere the true name of Etoile is Premier danseur Etoile which prove the imbrication of the both category. A premier danseur must be a partner it's not the case of Emmanuel Thibault.
He dances very well, it's sure but not too to be premier danseur.
Any new thoughts on this topic or suggests about what ought to be done?