Vivendi Universal chief to step aside in 2005

8th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The chairman of French media and entertainment giant Vivendi Universal, Jean-Rene Fourtou, is expected to relinquish operational duties at the group next April to head a newly created supervisory board, the company said Tuesday.

PARIS, Dec 7 (AFP) - The chairman of French media and entertainment giant Vivendi Universal, Jean-Rene Fourtou, is expected to relinquish operational duties at the group next April to head a newly created supervisory board, the company said Tuesday.

If approved at a meeting of shareholders scheduled for April 28, the Vivendi's operational functions would be handled by a separate seven-person management board headed by Jean-Bernard Levy, the current chief operating officer.

The supervisory board would be made up the current members of the board of directors while the management board under Levy would be comprised of the heads of Vivendi's business units such as Universal Music Group, the Canal Plus cable television network, the Moroccan telecommunications group Maroc Telecom and mobile phone operator SFR.

The restructuring, Foutou said after a meeting of the Vivendi board on Tuesday, will "create a dynamic that I am convinced will contribute to improving each activity as well as the group as a whole."

Fourtou, 64, replaced Jean-Marie Messier as Vivendi chairman in July 2002 at a time when the group was foundering under debt of EUR 35 billion (USD 47 billion) accumulated during Messier's three-year acquisition campaign.

Once in command Fourtou sold off several Vivendi units in a bid to pare down the debt.

Vivendi last month announced a sharply improved performance and a net profit in the third quarter of 2004 of EUR 776 million (USD 1 billion).

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article