Proximus CEO defends stock sale ahead of departure announcement

Monday 9 September 2019 | 08:43 CET | News
Update: 9 September 2019 | 13:52 CET

Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy has defended her recent sale of around EUR 285,000 in shares in the company, saying it was done before she made the decision to leave for KPN

In a statement, Leroy noted that she had few windows as CEO to sell shares. She was in a closed period since November 2018 until the publication of Q2 results this year. She instructed the bank at the end of July to sell the shares after the results on 01 August. 

"At that moment I had not decided to leave Proximus," she said. "I was in discussion about the renewal of my contract with Proximus and had some conversations with several external parties, amongst which KPN." 

The securities regulator FSMA has started an investigation into the matter, reported Belga. 

Leroy denied that she sold the shares due to her upcoming departure from the company, while acknowledging it may appear as so. "I regret that this perception has been created, this is not in line with my values where integrity and transparency are very high," she said.

Unions call for immediate departure

Meanwhile, unions at Proximus have called for Leroy to leave the company immediately, rather than from December as planned. They criticised her decision to join a perceived rival operator and said she could end up sharing sensitive information about Proximus, helping KPN mount a hostile takeover for the Belgian operator. The unions CSC-Transcom, CGSP-Telecom and SLFP Proximus plan to communicate their loss of confidence in the CEO to chairman Stefaan de Clerck, L'Echo reports. 

In the news programme 'de Zevende Dag', De Clerck said he wants Leroy to stay and finish the restructuring plan at the company. He noted that finding a replacement for her will be made difficult by the salary cap of EUR 650,000 for the position. 

A meeting between the Proximus board and labour representatives on 09 September confirmed that Leroy will stay in her position until the planned departure on 01 December. The aim is to reach agreement on a social plan for the restructuring by the end of November. The board said it did not consider KPN a current or future competitor, a union source told La Libre Belgique. 

[09/09/2019 13:52 - Update: Add detail on board meeting, restructuring. ]

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Categories: General
Companies: KPN / Proximus
Countries: Belgium / Netherlands
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