Corporate Governance


Jean-Marie Messier, CEO of Vivendi Universal

National pride probably saved media mogul Jean-Marie Messier's skin, but the embattled CEO of Vivendi Universal must walk a managerial tightrope if he hopes to keep his job. A majority of fellow French board members backed the besieged chairman, while North Americans, mainly representatives of the Bronfman family who had sold Seagram — and its Universal Studios and Music — to Vivendi, voted to oust Messier in a tense meeting last week. The boardroom revolt reflected market alarm over Vivendi's share slide — down 65% since January — and concern with the group's staggering €19 billion debt. The once media-friendly Messier...

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