Guy Dubois, Chief Executive Officer of gategroup, the world’s biggest independent airline caterer, has announced its resignation after an internal case of theft was discovered earlier this year.
The group said in a statement that Dubois, a widely respected executive who steered the company stock exchange listing in 2009, “takes moral responsibility” for the fraud carried out by a middle manager of the company.
“While the investigation has concluded he had no knowledge of or involvement in the fraud, his family’s association with that of the employee charged in the case has created the appearance of a conflict that would affect his authority to lead the Group,” the statement said.
While the company provided no other detail about this association, reports have said Dubois and his wife have helped the manager charged with the fraud when she relocated to Zurich.
Dubois is also resigning as a member of the Board, the company said.
Andrew Gibson, Group Senior Vice President and President of the North America region and a member of the gategroup Executive Management Board, has been appointed as interim CEO.
Gategroup grabbed headlines in Switzerland and abroad earlier this year after it emerged that the managing director of Gate Gourmet Northern Europe had defrauded the company over three years for a total of 22 million Swiss francs, through the falsification of documents. The manager has since then been dismissed.
The estimated cash shortfall at the end of last year was in the region of 10 million Swiss francs, before recovery. The Group’s said that its underlying business was not affected.