SOITEC: SHAREHOLDERS SUPPORT CEO SUCCESSION PROCESS, AFFIRMS GROUP
PARIS (Reuters) – The succession to the post of chief executive of Soitec is the result of “a rigorous decision-making process” conducted with “the full support” of the main shareholders, the group said on Friday as dissension emerged between the committee. executive and chairman of the board.
Thursday, the title Soitec fell by 18.2% after the announcement of the appointment of Pierre Barnabé to the general management of the manufacturer of semiconductor materials, where he will replace Paul Boudre, very appreciated by investors who attribute to him the recovery of the group.
The market was also concerned after the publication in the media of a letter, which Reuters was able to consult, from the executive committee of Soitec addressed to the board of directors. In this letter, the executive committee considers the appointment of a new general manager “incomprehensible”, suggesting significant dissension.
“By his behavior, the chairman of the board of directors bears a serious responsibility for the possible destabilization of a growing company and its governance”, is it written in the letter signed by all the members of the executive committee. .
Denouncing the “growing hand” of the chairman of the board of directors Eric Meurice, the executive committee says it is in “total disagreement” with its strategy and considers it “very difficult” to continue with him.
Friday, Soitec assures in a press release that the process of succession to the general management, started in March 2021, “was carried out in accordance with the best standards of governance and with the full support of the main shareholders of Soitec”.
According to group data as of November 1, 2021, Soitec is 10.35% owned by bpifrance, 8.6% by Blackrock and 7.32% by CEA Investissement.
Contacted, a spokesperson for bpifrance did not wish to comment on Friday and referred to remarks the day before by general manager Nicolas Dufourcq.
In an interview Thursday on BFM Business, Nicolas Dufourcq indicated that “things were done absolutely normally” and said he was surprised by the reaction of the executive committee.
“Following the rumors published in the press about the Executive Committee, Eric Meurice, Chairman of the Board of Directors, will take the necessary steps to ensure that governance issues, if any, are addressed to ensure the transition of the leadership,” said Soitec again on Friday.
The group says Eric Meurice and Paul Boudre are committed to working together “to ensure a smooth transition, thereby enabling the successful execution of Soitec’s 2026 strategic plan”.
On the Paris Stock Exchange, the Soitec share fell again by 0.83% on Friday in the first exchanges.
(Written by Blandine Hénault, edited by Bertrand Boucey)