Lyon chief apologises to shareholders for alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’
LYON, France – Lyon chief executive Jean-Claude Briere on Thursday apologized to shareholders after he admitted to taking part in an illegal activity and said he has since been put on leave.
He said the company will implement a new code of conduct and promised to “stop doing what we did”.
“It’s not something I want to do,” Briere told the French daily Le Figaro.
“I have made a mistake and I have to be responsible for it.”
He said he was not alone in the affair, with at least one other Lyon executive also involved.
“We have to do better and we have to take the necessary measures to ensure the right thing does not happen again,” he said.
The board’s first meeting since the scandal erupted came after the company said it was investigating whether Briere had committed misconduct.
“This is the most important meeting since this scandal broke,” said president Luc Lestrade.
“Lyon has made its position clear on the matter and the board has decided that we must act.
The next steps are clear and clear: We will stop doing what you did and we will take the steps needed to make it right.”
The French media reported that the board is also considering a resolution to discipline Briere for taking part at the same time as other senior executives at other companies.
Lesterer denied the report and said the board would hold a new meeting on Tuesday.
“The board is not considering any such measures,” he told Le Figarro.
Briere did not comment on the reports.
“Nothing is changing,” he added.
The scandal erupted when Briere was arrested in 2015 after Lyon’s management committee met in a hotel in Nice to discuss the possibility of buying the assets of a former subsidiary of his company, Le Lyon.
The French government was investigating the sale of Lyon’s assets in France and the US after allegations of a tax avoidance scheme.
The Lyon chief had denied the allegations, and he has also denied wrongdoing.
Lyon has said it is investigating the matter.
The head of the French public prosecution, Michel Niel, said Briere’s behavior in the case was “an outrage.”
“He was not at all apologetic,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“He is not ashamed, he is not embarrassed.”
Niel said he had received information about Briere from two other top executives at the company.
“At the time I didn’t know that the president of the company, Jean-Francois, had been arrested, and I didn`t know it was him,” he reportedly said.
“But I have been told that he is now on the run.”
The scandal also led to Briere being stripped of his honorary presidency at the French bank Société Générale, which is part of the bank he previously headed.
Lyon said on Thursday it had suspended the presidency of Sociéte Généralale in France, which it has held since 2008.
Briemare has since denied any wrongdoing.
The CEO of the U.S.-based investment bank Goldman Sachs, Stephen Lichtman, said he would investigate the matter further and that Briere would have to apologize.
“Stephen Lichtmer will be calling me to offer his full support and to assure me that we will find a way to move forward,” Briemar said in a statement.
“In the meantime, we are working to make sure that the culture of the board does not get worse.”
Lichtmann said that he had already been contacted by Briere and that he expected a “very constructive” response.
He told the Financial Times that Briemares apology was “not good enough.”
“I don’t think he is capable of having a full and frank conversation,” Lichtmeier said.
He also said the issue of “inappropriate behavior” would be raised with the CEO of Goldman Sachs.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Goldman Sachs had suspended its relationship with Briemere.
Brierman said in the statement that he was “sorry” for the “shameful” comments made by Licht, who he described as “one of the world’s best traders and investors.”
He also added that he will be “fully cooperating with the investigation.”
Briere, who has a reputation for his aggressive management style, is one of the richest men in France.
He is the president and CEO of Lyon, which has more than 1,200 employees and is one the biggest technology companies in the world.
Lyon is also one of Europe’s biggest technology and finance companies.
It has more offices in the U: France, Spain, Italy, Spain and the U and has about $300 billion in annual revenue.
It was founded in 1988 and is based in the northern city of Lyon.