Dutch press claimed former Proximus boss Dominique Leroy (pictured) had discussed taking over as CEO of KPN around three months before quitting the Belgian operator, as an investigation into the sale of her shares in the company heated up.
NRC Handelsblad reported a “high ranking” KPN source stated it held initial discussions with Leroy in June, before talks stalled. However, discussions were resurrected in July when KPN said it still wanted Leroy, with the executive resigning from Proximus in early September to take over at KPN from 1 December.
The revelation could have sway on an investigation opened by Belgian authorities into the sale of Leroy’s shares in Proximus, which was reportedly conducted around a month before she stepped down from the operator.
NRC Handelsblad‘s source indicated the initial talks were at an advanced stage, covering Leroy’s vision for KPN.
Belgian police are examining Leroy’s sale of €285,000 worth of Proximus shares in August.
In a departure message on Proximus’ website, Leroy denied any wrongdoing: “I had not decided at that time to leave Proximus. I was discussing the renewal of my contract with Proximus and I had some discussions with various external parties, including KPN.”
However, NRC Handelsblad reported she had not disclosed the conversation with KPN at the time of the share sale, and the process for the transaction was already underway.
Although originally scheduled to stay with Proximus until end-November, Leroy’s departure was apparently brought forward to appease trade unions, which had expressed disquiet at her pending move to a competitor.