Monday, March 26, 2012
CEO of Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin resigns over questionable payments
Pierre Duhaime CEO of the huge Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has resigned. The firm has started an internal probe into payments by some top executives that breached the company's code of ethics and were not properly authorised.
The company reported a 52 % drop in profits in the last quarter. The company had many projects in Libya under Gadaffi. Company share prices fell when the internal investigation was announced.
Investigators claim that Duhaime authorized payments totaling $56 million that were against the company's code of ethics.. The company's chief financial officer and chairman both objected to the payments but to no avail.
There have been allegations that the payments were to agents in Libya and Tunisia. The chairman of the board however says that the payments are unrelated to either country.
The firm has been investigating close ties between some of their executives and officials in the former Gadaffi regime. Earlier the firm was connected with an alleged attempt to smuggle some members of the Gadaffi family into Mexico.The RCMP(Royal Canadian Mounted Police) are also investigating some former SNC Lavalin executives in connection with the alleged plot. So far no one has been charged and no wrongdoing has been proved. However, the accusations have been disastrous for the firm. For more see this CBC article.