Colgate, RBC Director Leaves Boards After Cocaine Charges

  • Reinhard charged with drug possession, importation in Canada
  • Former Coca-Cola director was fired from Dow Chemical in 2007

Joao Pedro Reinhard stepped down Thursday as a director of Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Royal Bank of Canada, two weeks after he was charged in Canada with possession of cocaine.

Reinhard, 70, who lives in Key Biscayne, Florida, was charged on Feb. 23 in Mississauga, west of Toronto, for unlawful importing and possession of cocaine under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Toronto-based Royal Bank said in a statement Thursday that Reinhard resigned from the board effective immediately, without giving a reason. Reinhard had been a director at Canada’s biggest bank since 2000.

“This is a matter between the authorities and Mr. Reinhard,” Royal Bank spokeswoman Claire Holland said in an e-mailed statement. “We can provide no further comment.”

Reinhard also stepped down from the Colgate-Palmolive board, according to a March 10 company filing. Allison Klimerman, a company spokeswoman, didn’t immediately provide further comment. He joined that board in January 2006.

Reinhard, who was an executive vice president and chief financial officer of Dow Chemical Co. from 1996 to 2005, is also a former director of Coca-Cola Co.

Reinhard was fired from Dow in 2007 after he and another executive attempted to secretly sell the chemical maker. Reinhard was to become chairman under a deal taking the company private and financed by the Sultanate of Oman. Reinhard’s plans unraveled after news accounts in U.K. newspapers prompted Dow to ask its bankers to investigate.

Calls and a fax to Reinhard’s Florida home weren’t returned.

Reinhard’s resignation comes about a month before Royal Bank’s annual general meeting on April 6, when his current term as director was set to expire. Reinhard wasn’t seeking renewal this year, according to proxy circular filings.

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