LVMH proposes Mathieu Gallet as independent director

It’s a nomination that promises to be closely scrutinized. According to corroborating sources, LVMH has proposed the name of Mathieu Gallet, the former chairman and CEO of Radio France, to join the daily’s supervisory board as an independent member. The echoes. He is intended to replace, in January, André Lévy-Lang, 86 years old, former boss of Paribas from 1990 to 1999, who has been on this body since the purchase of the economic newspaper by the emperor of luxury in 2007. Nothing says, at this stage, if the audiovisual director succeeds Mr. Lévy-Lang in his role as president.

To prosper, however, this proposal must be validated by the Society of Journalists (SDJ) of Echoes. According to the agreements signed during the takeover of the daily, aimed at guaranteeing editorial independence, the three independent directors of the newspaper must be appointed by both the shareholder and the SDJ. According to our information, the SDJ has not yet made a decision.

In particular, it will have to determine whether Mr. Gallet does not maintain any relationships of interest with LVMH or the family of its CEO and main shareholder, Bernard Arnault, all investors or donors in numerous projects. Neither the SDJ, nor LVMH, nor Mr. Gallet, nor Mr. Lévy-Lang wished to comment on this information.

Major governance crisis

This movement, in any case, is not insignificant as the newspaper founded by the Servan-Schreiber brothers is going through a major governance crisis. Since September 28, The echoes no longer have an editorial director, the journalists having rejected by 66.9% the candidacy of François Vidal, former number two of the newspaper. The tensions are rooted in the brutal ousting, in March, of the editorial director, Nicolas Barré – according to internal rumors, because of articles that displeased Bernard Arnault. The journalists of Echoes saw it as a serious threat to their independence.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The editorial staff of “Echos” refuses to put François Vidal at its head

Subsequently, the SDJ fought for many months, accusing the management of the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group of wanting to “empty of its substance” the right of veto of journalists on the appointment of the future editorial director, applies a broader definition of the electorate. The three independent directors – Mr. Lévy-Lang, Alice Antheaume, director of the Sciences-Po journalism school, and Nicolas Molfessis, lawyer and professor of law at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas – then played a role ” determining “ to achieve a satisfactory low water level, according to the SDJ. According to the statutes, it is provided that the editorial director of the Echoes must be approved by at least two of the three “independents”.

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