TNT Express CEO is ‘unethical’ to quit, says supervisory board boss

Supervisory board members and staff at express delivery firm TNT Express have criticised the decision of CEO Marianne-Christine Lombard to move to a new job in the middle of the troubled takeover by UPS.


‘I am disappointed in Mrs Lombard,’ Antony Burgmans, head of the supervisory board, told the Financieele Dagblad.
‘What she has done is unethical,’ he said. ‘She is leaving a company with 70,000 workers in the lurch. It also breaks our agreement. We had an agreement she would remain until six months after the takeover has been completed.’
Timing
‘The time is reasonably unfortunate,’ said Sanne van Minderhout, chairman of the central works council. ‘It does not alter our confidence in the takeover by UPS but it does make workers uncertain if the CEO leaves. It would have been better if she waited until after the deal.’
Burgmans, who said Lombard would have been ‘very welcome’ at UPS, declined to say what the CEO’s new job will be. ‘She has opted for a new career path,’ he said.
Lombard will not now be able to claim the €2.5m she was promised for seeing through the takeover or a further sum for leading the integration of the two companies. ‘She will get what she is entitled to and will be paid until the end of this month,’ Burgmans told the FD.
Lombard was not available for comment, the paper said.
Review
A decision by the European Commission to review the takeover of TNT Express by UPS will delay finalisation of the deal until at least the fourth quarter of this year.
The Commission is looking at the effect of the takeover on the European express delivery market. According to the Financieele Dagblad, both companies had regarded European approval as a formality.
UPS agreed to pay €5.16bn or €9.50 a share for Dutch group TNT Express in March.
TNT Express was spun off when TNT Post split into its express arm and PostNL last year.
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