More Trouble For Vivendi's Ex-CEO

France's stock market regulator fined Vivendi Universal (V ) and its former chief executive officer, Jean-Marie Messier, $1.3 million each for misleading shareholders from 2000 to 2002. The Financial Markets Authority ruled on Dec. 7 that Messier had provided inaccurate information on Vivendi's indebtedness, cash flow, and financial outlook. Messier, who now runs an investment advisory firm in New York and Paris, is appealing the decision. The same day as the French ruling, current Vivendi CEO Jean-René Fourtou -- who has cut company debt from $27 billion to about $7 billion since Messier's July, 2002, ouster -- said he would hand over his post to Chief Operating Officer Jean-Bernard Lévy in April. Fourtou will chair the company's newly organized supervisory board.

Edited by Rose Brady

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