Bull boss flees

Insists his job is done

French server and services group Bull has lost its head. Chairman-to-be Didier Pineau-Valencienne resigned yesterday, after only two months in the job.

Pineau, who has overseen a debt reduction programme, was widely expected to be made chairman at a shareholders meeting on 25 May. That meeting is also expected to approve Bull's debt restructuring programme.

Pineau was appointed by Pierre Bonelli who died in April. Pineau insisted there had been no disagreement and that his work was done. He told AFP: "All the appropriate steps to meet that goal have been taken or will be in the very near future.

"Under these conditions I consider that the mission I acceped from Pierre Bonelli... is today accomplished and it is now up to Bull's old and new shareholders to take charge of the company."

There have been various rumours about fallings out on the board at Bull. French newspaper Les Echos reported that Pineau had serious disagreements with "certain shareholders - France Telecom has been mentioned - and/or part of the management".

Once it has sorted out who is going to be chairman, Bull needs to get European Commission approval for its debt restructuring programme. ®

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