The Annual General Meeting of SUEZ (the “Company”), held on May 12, 2020, without the physical presence of shareholders at the Company’s registered office, was chaired by Mr. Jean-Louis Chaussade. All submitted resolutions were adopted, with 78.64% shareholder participation.
The Annual General Meeting paid tribute to Jean-Louis Chaussade, whose term of office as Chairman of the Board of Directors ended at the close of the meeting.
Following his appointment as director by the Shareholders’ Meeting, Philippe Varin took over as Chairman of SUEZ’s Board, succeeding Mr. Chaussade. The compensation policy for each of the corporate officers was approved.
During the Annual General Meeting, Bertrand Camus, Chief Executive Officer, presented the Group’s first Purpose to shareholders after it had been approved by the Board of Directors.
The Shareholders’ Meeting approved the renewal of the terms of Ms. Myriem Bensalah-Chaqroun and Ms. Delphine Ernotte-Cunci, as well as Mr. Isidro Fainé Casas and Mr. Guillaume Thivolle. Mr. Pierre Mongin announced his decision to resign as a Director during the Board of Directors’ Meeting at the close of the Shareholders’ Meeting. The Board is now composed of 15 members, of which 58% are independent directors1 and 53% are women.
In addition, the Annual General Meeting approved the distribution of a €0.45 per share cash dividend. The ex-date is May 18, 2020, with a payment date on May 20, 2020.
Finally, the Annual General Meeting renewed all finance-related authorizations granted to the Board of Directors.
The webcast of the Annual General Meeting, presentations and results of the voting on resolutions can be found on SUEZ’s website (www.SUEZ.com).
The Board of Directors reviewed the composition of its Committees during its meeting at the close of the Annual General Meeting. The composition will be as follows:
The Annual General Meeting paid tribute to Jean-Louis Chaussade. Tribute was also paid to the extraordinary efforts of Gérard Mestrallet, Nicolas Bazire and Guillaume Pépy, who have been directors since 2008 and are now stepping down from their duties. The Board also thanked Pierre Mongin, a director since 2016, for his support and diligent work. Mr. Mongin tendered his resignation during the Board Meeting at the close of the Shareholders’ Meeting.
Jean-Louis Chaussade worked for the Group for 42 years and led it for 15 years. Appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004, he oversaw the Group’s initial public offering in 2008. In particular, he drove the Company’s international growth strategy in China, Australia, South America and Europe, winning the Spanish and Italian water markets with Agbar and ACEA respectively. In 2015, he oversaw SUEZ’s transformation into a single brand. The strategic 2017 acquisition of American group GE Water, which became WTS, was a major milestone in that it both positioned the Group in the promising industrial customers’ market and strengthened its North American presence.
Jean-Louis Chaussade commented: “I am very proud of our Group’s achievements. We have succeeded in SUEZ’s profound transformation into an international Group, a pioneer of green growth. I would like to thank each and every one of the employees, customers, partners and stakeholders who supported me. I wish the new team, led by Philippe Varin and Bertrand Camus, every success as they continue to make the Group grow in order for SUEZ to become the leader in environmental transformation. The resource revolution will, at last, drive the sustainable and circular economy of the 21st century, and for this I will continue to persevere.”
The Board commended Jean-Louis Chaussade and his illustrious career devoted entirely to environmental causes. Since the Group's initial public offering in 2008, he has led SUEZ's development and transformation, adapting it to fast-changing markets and new customer needs.
Bertrand Camus commented: “Today marks a new stage in SUEZ’s governance. Jean-Louis played an active role for more than 40 years. Alongside Gérard Mestrallet, he participated in the Group’s growth. It’s an honor for me to accelerate SUEZ’s operations, using the foundations that they both laid. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment and their numerous efforts. I would also like to thank Nicolas Bazire, Guillaume Pépy and Pierre Mongin, who are stepping down from their duties this year and who supported the Company’s IPO in 2008. We are living through unprecedented times. I know we can all count on Philippe Varin, whose industrial expertise and humanity are recognized both in France and abroad.”
Philippe Varin commented: “It’s a great honor to become SUEZ’s Chairman in a period where environmental challenges and their impact on health and quality of life are of upmost importance to all citizens. SUEZ is an internationally recognized group, and we must expand its foothold through the implementation and affirmation of its new strategic plan. I will use all my global and industrial experience to support the growth of the Group and Bertrand Camus’ management team. The Group is pulling out all the stops worldwide during this global health crisis. I am proud to join SUEZ’s 90,000 employees who share both a team spirit and a passion for the environment.”
1 without taking into account the employee directors and the employee shareholder director, pursuant to the AFEP-MEDEF Code, i.e. 7 independent directors.
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