PARIS (Reuters) - Hubert Sagnieres, the French executive vice-chairman of eye-wear group EssilorLuxottica, hit back on Thursday at criticisms made at him by Italian billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio, who is the company’s top shareholder and executive chairman.
Sagnieres’ office issued a statement in response to a scathing interview earlier in French paper Le Figaro, in which Del Vecchio accused Sagnieres of a power grab.
“This approach, which is contrary to the company’s social interest, is detrimental to the company and to all its shareholders,” said the statement issued by Sagnieres’ office.
“On November 5, 2018, even before the first annual general Meeting of the combined group was held, Mr. Leonardo Del Vecchio announced that he wanted to unilaterally delegate his role as CEO of EssilorLuxottica to Mr. Francesco Milleri,” added Sagnieres’ statement.
“He has since then indicated that he would like to change the balance of powers established in the combination agreements. Despite his denials, a certain number of his actions reflect a de facto attempt to take control of the new group, without any premium offered to shareholders,” the statement also said.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Inti Landauro