Ousted chief executive Sébastien de Montessus had a history of going behind the backs of his superiors and conducting unauthorized business, well before the British gold mining company fired him for cause this week.
London-based Endeavour on Thursday said it terminated Mr. de Montessus after accusing him of “serious misconduct” related to a payment he authorized without the board’s knowledge. Mr. de Montessus admitted he authorized a payment of US$5.9-million to a creditor in exchange for security services without getting permission from the board, and called it a “lapse in judgment.”
Before joining Endeavour, he worked for state-owned French nuclear company Areva SA for a decade between 2002 and 2012.
During his time at Areva, Mr. de Montessus hired a Swiss private investigator to look into a mergers and acquisitions deal the company had made, the disastrous top-of-the-market purchase of UraMin Inc. in 2007. Mr. de Montessus admitted he hired the PI without getting authorization from his boss at the time, Anne Lauvergeon.