L’Oreal chairman to step down
Lindsay Owen-Jones is stepping down as chairman of L'Oréal on March 17, his 65th birthday, the Financial Times reported. CEO Jean-Paul Agon will become executive chairman of the company.
Owen-Jones "delivered almost 20 years of double-digit net-profit growth as executive chairman from 1988 to 2006," the FT report noted. He is expected to remain a director and to be named honorary president, the article said.
... [T]he timing comes as a surprise, given that Mr. Owen-Jones's mandate was renewed in April last year, to run to 2014.
The article pointed out, however, that Owen-Jones "has been caught up in the controversy sparked by a row in the ranks of the Bettencourt family, the group's founding shareholder with 30 per cent."
During the feud between Liliane Bettencourt and her daughter, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, it was revealed that Bettencourt had given Owen-Jones a gift of 100 million euros, and that under his leadership the company had contracted to pay photographer François-Marie Banier -- whose relationship with Bettencourt sparked the mother-daughter feud -- 710,000 euros a year, the FT reported.
However, Mr. Owen-Jones has always insisted the gift was a personal one, and that he had not favoured Mrs. Bettencourt over other shareholders in any way.
(Source: Financial Times, Feb. 7, 2011.)
Posted Monday, February 07, 2011 • Permalink