Activist shareholder demands the departure of Solvay top woman

An activist shareholder of the Belgian chemical giant Solvay is demanding the departure of CEO Ilham Kadri because the environmental problems they have raised are not being addressed. The board of directors remains fully behind the top woman, it sounds.

Activist shareholder Bluebell Capital Partners is demanding that Solvay replace Kadri for failing to address the environmental issues of the Rosignano plant. In that Italian factory, Solvay produces soda ash, or soda. But according to Bluebell Capital Partners, chemical waste discharged into the sea. “It is an open landfill for Solvay’s industrial chemical waste,” Bluebell Capital Partners wrote in a letter last September.

Solvay denies that, and has itself a website explaining that the discharges are non-toxic and non-hazardous, and that the strict environmental standards in force are fully respected. Commenting on Solvay’s chairman Nicolas Boël, the board of directors remains fully behind their CEO.

Ilham Kadri has the full support of the board of directors as CEO. Since her appointment in 2019, she has taken bold steps to shape the company’s strategy and align the portfolio with strong sustainability trends. It also implemented an ambitious new sustainability program, Solvay One Planet. As a result, Solvay delivers on its promise to create value for shareholders, customers and all stakeholders,” said Boël.

Earlier this year, Bluebell Capital Partners also forced the departure of Danone-all Emmanuel Faber.

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