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In Atos, a shareholder is pushing for the removal of the president

Tensions are rising in Athos as the June 28 general meeting approaches. At this meeting, the asset management company Sycomore AM, a minority shareholder of the IT group, plans to present four different resolutions. One of them calls for the removal of the chairman of the board of directors, Bertrand Meunier, who has been in this position since November 2019 and is seen as the first person responsible for the current difficulties of the company.

The investor also wants the departure of two other directors, Aminata Nian and Vernon Sankey, as well as the reinstatement of the position of chief executive, which was abolished in December 2020 and whose mission is to ensure dialogue with shareholders.

“Since the end of 2019, the balance of the group has been disastrous”writes Cyrille Charlot, Sycomore’s deputy CEO, in a letter addressed to Bertrand Meunier and published on 1Eh June. “Accounting wise, the company lost four billion euros in two years and its capital was halved.”begins the investor, before making a series of criticisms against the implemented strategy “Contrary to what was announced to investors”, “Very aggressive financial communication” and “Lack of professionalism and insight” The group’s appointment committee appointed the general manager, Rodolphe Bellmer, who left in June 2022, nine months after his arrival. Result: “In terms of the stock market, the results are dramatic: – 81% for Atos since the end of 2019, + 50% for Capgemini”concludes the investor.

suitable candidates

For Sycomore, only an overhaul of the Atos board of directors will reset the strategy “again clearly defined” and “Profitability on average in the sector”. The shareholder has identified two candidates who, according to him, can strengthen the board. The two people, who the shareholder declined to name, were interviewed by an appointment committee chaired by Bertrand Meunier and which still includes former prime minister Edouard Philippe, an Atos director, before the meeting. General June 28. But these two profiles were not retained by the company, which convinced Sycamore to give the decision-making authority to the company’s shareholders during the general meeting.

“These two candidates left on their own”, answers a close friend of Athos, without wanting to reveal their identity. One of them was in a potential conflict of interest. According to our information, it was Emily Sidikian, the general manager of the American software group Salesforce in France. The second candidate was Christopher Guerin, managing director of the French cable company Nexans.

Source: Le Monde



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