Viv E dumps prexy Messier

Board meeting goes smoothly

PARIS — Vivendi Universal’s former chief, Jean-Marie Messier, made a rare public appearance Monday when he was dismissed as prexy of Vivendi Environment’s supervisory board.

His successor, Jean-Rene Fourtou, was voted in as the new chief, although Messier remains on the board.

Shortly before the meeting, a tanned and smiling Messier pulled up in a limousine. Surrounded by bodyguards, he called out to waiting photographers, “Nice to see you.”

There had been speculation that the failed media mogul, ousted in July, would stir up trouble at the meeting, but it went smoothly. “We are civilized people,” Fourtou said afterward.

The new Viv U topper refused to be drawn on his plans for Vivendi Environment, telling journalists, “See you Wednesday.”

The utilities branch is expected to go on the block after a key meeting of Vivendi Universal’s board Wednesday, at which Fourtou will outline the conglom’s future strategy.

Vivendi Environment’s share price fell 6.76% at the close of trading Monday to €19.02 ($18.59) after hitting an historic low of $17.35 earlier in the day.

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