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Bpost CEO fired as international investigation continues

Jean-Paul Van Avermaet. Credit: Belga

The CEO of bpost, Jean-Paul Van Avermaet, has been fired, De Tijd and De Standaard reported on Sunday evening.

“The Board of Directors of bpost has decided to put an end, with immediate effect, to the collaboration with Mr. Jean-Paul Van Avermaet as CEO and has decided to suspend Mr. Van Avermaet as director of bpost in the interest of the company,” bpost said on Sunday night.

It is specified that “the search for a new CEO has been launched” and that in the meantime the powers of day-to-day management have been delegated to the Chairman of the Board of Directors François Cornelis.

“If and when appropriate, further communications will be made to the market”, the postal company’s press release states.

This week it emerged that Van Avermaet no longer had the support of several directors within bpost. Also, the company announced disappointing financial results, which caused shares to fall.

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It was the federal government, bpost’s main shareholder, that insisted on Sunday on the immediate dismissal of Van Avermaet, according to De Standaard and De Tijd. The board of directors is said to have confirmed the dismissal in the evening.

Van Avermaet is the subject of an investigation by the Belgian Competition Authority, which suspects an illegal price agreement between various security and guarding companies, including G4S (with Securitas and Seris), which he previously headed.

An investigation is also being conducted by the US Department of Justice, with important consequences for Van Avermaet and his company.

The Brussels Times