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Bpost shares suffer amid management turmoil

Credit: Belga

The shares of Belgian post group Bpost suffered on the Brussels Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

After half a day’s trading, it posted a loss of 4.84%, one of the biggest falls, while the stock markets in Europe showed a recovery. The Bel20 in Brussels was up 1.1% at midday.

The postal company had confirmed Wednesday morning the departure of Henri de Romrée, the CEO of its American subsidiary Radial, by the end of the year. De Romrée will return to Belgium for family reasons, the group announced.

However, Flemish daily De Standaard alleges that he’s leaving because “he no longer sees the cooperation with (Bpost) CEO (Jean-Paul) Van Avermaet as a good idea.”

Van Avermaet is facing increasing criticism since news broke that he may have been aware of price fixing in the Belgian security sector, as a former top executive for security company G4S.

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Both the Belgian Competition Authority and the US Department of Justice are investigating this price fixing.

Due to these investigations and “a great deal of mistrust” among management as De Tijd reported, headhunter Egon Zehnder is informally looking for Van Avermaet’s replacement, both De Standaard and De Tijd reported.

The many changes inside the company are also influencing unions, who are becoming frustrated. “This company needs stability,” Jean-Pierre Nyns of socialist trade union ACOD said in De Tijd, as coronavirus is forcing the company to “quickly transform into an e-commerce company.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times