Vivendi HQ Returns to Paris

14 October 2002

The extravagances of quondam Vivendi Universal ceo – J6M (Jean-Marie Messier, Moi Meme Maitre du Monde) as he was known to the French media – continue to be purged by his successor Jean-René Fourtou as he struggles to restore equilibrium to the debt beset Franco-American media giant.

Howls of outraged national pride reverberated along the Champs Elysee last year when Messier moved his personal office, together with a large part of the group’s senior management, to New York. But this migration is about to be reversed, announced Fortou last week, although Vivendi will maintain a reduced presence in the Big Apple.

All holding activities will now be controlled from Paris, with New York becoming “a representative office for the company, primarily responsible for functions relating to North America”.

The company said it planned to downsize its headquarters operations by cutting both payroll and non-payroll costs. The restructuring is intended to cut Vivendi’s headquarters budget from €313 million ($309.32m; £197.96m) to €173m although no timescale was announced.

French staff had been consulted on a plan to cut almost half the 327 staff at its headquarters in Paris and more jobs are expected to be axed at other offices across the world.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff