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Cadbury explains exit of executive directors

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April 13, 2007/ Punch




Cadbury Nigeria Plc said on Thursday that its four remaining executive directors resigned and were not sacked.


The four executives joined the former Managing Director, Mr. Bunmi Oni, and former Finance Director, Mr. Ayo Akadiri, in the cold.



The duo had been asked to step down after discrepancies were discovered in the company’s accounts last year.



But sources said on Thursday that Cadbury Nigeria, a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes Plc of the


United Kingdom, had asked the four executive directors to resign.


“The affected directors include the Project Director, Mr. Toju Bagunjoko; Marketing Director, Mr. Biodun Jaji; Stanmark’s Managing Director, Mr. Segun Oyewole; and Manufacturing Director, Mr. Gabriel Onabote,” the source said.



Spokesman of Cadbury, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, confirmed the development in a telephone interview, but insisted that the directors resigned on their volition.



“In place of the directors, the company has inaugurated an interim leadership team to run the affairs of the company,” Ekanem said.



“The directors resigned their appointments in March,” he added.



Cadbury, in this latest move, has lost all its Nigerian directors after its Human Resources Director, Mr. Tunde Falase, resigned from the company to take up an appointment with Guinness Nigeria Plc.



“The interim leadership team will focus on revamping the company’s business model,” Ekanem said.



He did not give details on the composition of the new team.



But sources said the team is headed by the Interim Managing Director, Mr. Wallace Garland and other senior managers.





Nigeria is restructuring its management portfolio after a scandal involving financial mis-statements rocked the company last year.


An independent investigator, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, had said that a significant and deliberate overstatement of the company’s financial position took place over a number of years.



The company’s former auditor, Akintola Williams Deloitte, also withdrew its appointment with the firm after the uproar.



Cadbury’s share price dipped from N51.45 to N32.46 when the news of the overstated accounts was broken.



It further dipped to N27.90 early this year before closing at N36.05 on Wednesday. - ©


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