Vinci to merge chairman & CEO roles

By Chris Sleight20 November 2009

Vinci, the world's largest contractor, has announced plans for a new Board structure that will see the roles of chairman and CEO held by one person. At present these are separate, with Xavier Huillard holding the position of CEO and Yves-Thibault de Silguy chairman of the Board.

The new structure, which will also include the appointment of a person to act as vice-chairman & senior director, will be put to a vote at Vinci's next shareholder meeting on May 6. The company is proposing that Xavier Huillard is appointed chairman & CEO and Yves-Thibault de Silguy becomes vice-chairman & senior director.

Vinci said the new structure was required to speed-up decision-making. A company statement said, "The change in Vinci's operating method is better suited to the current economic climate, which requires greater responsiveness, and will enable the group to meet the challenges of the future."

Mr Huillard has been CEO of Vinci since January 2006, having worked for the company since it was formed in 2000 and previously as an executive in SGE, one of the two companies that were merged to form Vinci. Just six months after taking over as CEO he ousted the then-chairman Antoine Zacharias in a memorable boardroom battle which saw Mr Huillard accuse him of abusing his position for personal gain. At the time Mr Zacharias owned shares and options in Vinci worth some € 259 million.

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