Arnaud Lagardère steps down from exec roles due to indictment

By Faye Bartle |

Arnaud Lagardère

Arnaud Lagardère. Photo Gilles Bassignac.

[UPDATED] Lagardère SA, owner of Lagardère Travel Retail, has revealed that its Chairman & CEO Arnaud Lagardère has provisionally stepped down from his executive roles due to a court indictment, which he is contesting and against which he plans to appeal.

A statement issued by Lagardère SA reads that the French businessman has today (30 April, 2024) informed the directors of Lagardère SA of the indictment against him.

“His indictment essentially concerns facts relating to personal companies wholly owned by Arnaud Lagardère and not involving any Lagardère group companies,” it reads.

“As regards Lagardère SA, the indictment relates solely to facts dating from 2018 and 2019, qualified as vote buying, abuse of power and dissemination of false or misleading information, which Arnaud Lagardère firmly disputes.

“In the context of his indictment, Arnaud Lagardère has been provisionally banned from holding executive office, a measure which he is contesting and against which he intends to appeal, but which nevertheless will oblige him to resign his executive offices within the Group, despite the appeal.”

“The directors have taken note of this measure and will meet in the near future to take all provisional measures required to ensure the Group’s governance pending Arnaud Lagardère being able to resume the management of the Group.

“The directors wish to reiterate that Arnaud Lagardère is presumed innocent, and that an indictment in no way prejudges the outcome of the proceedings.”

Following a meeting of the Board of Directors to decide on provisional governance arrangements pending Arnaud Lagardère being able to resume effective management of the company, and also acting on the recommendation of the Appointments, Remuneration and CSR Committee, it was unanimously decided to co-opt Jean-Christophe Thiery as a Director and to appoint him Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lagardère SA.

The appointment of Thiery as Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre will also be submitted to the company’s Board of Directors in the near future.

Jean-Christophe Thiery will retain his position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Groupe Canal+, a position he has held since 2018.

The Board of Directors also acknowledged Arnaud Lagardère’s decision to appoint Constance Benqué as President of Lagardère Commandité SAS and Managing Partner of Lagardère Radio SCA.

Lagardère SA (which has operations in more than 40 countries worldwide and focuses on three divisions: Lagardère Publishing, Lagardère Travel Retail and Lagardère News) generated €8,081 million revenue in 2023.

The group reported a Q1 2024 revenue of €1,883 million, up 12.4% as reported and up 8.9% like for like.

Lagardère Travel Retail revenue was up by 13.6% (to €1,242m) for the quarter, driven by ‘favourable business momentum’ in the EMEA region and the Americas, and despite a contraction in North Asia. The results come against a backdrop of air traffic returning to normal levels, following the pandemic.

READ MORE: Lagardère Travel Retail opens first Godiva Café in Asia TR

READ MORE: Costa Kouros appointed sole CEO of LagardèreAWPL as Lesniak steps down

READ MORE: On the shop floor with LLA, Lagardère and Lego

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