Proximus chief departs early following protests

Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy is leaving the Belgian telecom giant on 20 September and not on 1 December as earlier announced.

The bringing forward of the date is intended to “restore a serene climate” at the company that is partly state-owned.  Ms Leroy is joining Proximus rival KPN of the Netherlands that pays more.  The unions had earlier demanded her immediate departure as it emerged she intended to continue to head talks with the unions on the company’s reorganisation.  The workforce started spontaneous protest actions this week amid concerns KPN could now launch a telecom attack on Belgium and make good use of Ms Leroy's knowledge of the company and its plans. Financial director Sandrine Dufour, a French national, will now become acting CEO.

It has also emerged financial watchdog FSMA is investigating whether Ms Leroy is guilty of insider dealing after she sold Proximus shares worth over 280,000 euros last August.