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Investment firm Eurazeo ousts CEO Morgon after row with leading shareholder, the Decaux family

Monday, February 6, 2023

French investment firm Eurazeo (EURA.PA) ousted Chief Executive Virginie Morgon on Monday and named a new executive board following a row with the group’s number one shareholder, the Decaux family, a source close to the matter said.

The board of Eurazeo, which has 32.4 billion euros ($34.85 billion) under management including large stakes in some of the biggest French startups, met from around 1500 GMT on Sunday until late into the night and came to the conclusion that Morgon, a former M&A banker at Lazard (LAZ.N), had to go, the source said.

Jean-Charles Decaux, Eurazeo’s chairman, pushed for the decision after a number of matters caused friction between Morgon and the Decaux family, which owns 18% of Eurazeo, the source said.

Morgon, 53, didn’t reply to messages seeking comment. A spokesperson for Jean-Charles Decaux, who is also co-CEO of JCDecaux (JCDX.PA), the world’s biggest outdoor advertising firm, declined to comment.

Eurazeo said in a statement earlier on Monday its new executive board would be composed of two chairmen, namely Christophe Bavière and William Kadouch-Chassaing, while Sophie Flak and Olivier Millet would also be on this board.

The death in June 2022 of Eurazeo founder and former Lazard executive Michel David-Weill, who brought Morgon into Eurazeo in 2008, had rebalanced the power within the board, the source said.

Morgon was one of the few female top executives in France’s financial community. Her biography had disappeared from Eurazeo’s website as of Monday.

In a statement Jean-Charles Decaux, Eurazeo’s supervisory board president, called the newly appointed executive board “collegial” and “focused”.

“The board has sought to instil a new dynamic to accelerate the development of Eurazeo’s activities and to deploy a high-performance strategy creating value for the benefit of all its stakeholders,” he said.

Eurazeo’s shares were down by 1.8% at 1445 GMT.

Published on Monday, February 6, 2023 at 5:19 PM

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