SNC-Lavalin chairman, three other board members to retire

TORONTO, April 4 Thu Apr 4, 2013 9:58am EDT

TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, which has already changed its structure and executive team after a scandal-plagued year, said on Thursday four of its board members, including its chairman, will retire at its annual shareholder meeting.

The Montreal-based company said Chairman Gwyn Morgan, along with fellow directors David Goldman, Pierre Lessard and Edythe Marcoux, will step down on May 2, as part of its board renewal process that was outlined in December.

The construction and engineering company has been mired in an ethics and corruption scandal over the last year, after it uncovered tens of millions of dollars in mysterious payments. Its former Chief Executive Officer Pierre Duhaime, who resigned in the face of the probe, now faces fraud charges.

The company said the board's corporate governance committee has recommended that Ian Bourne be appointed as the company's new chairman immediately following the shareholder meeting.

Bourne, a board member since 2009, served as the company's interim CEO following Duhaime's ouster last March. Robert Card, a former long-time executive with CH2M Hill Cos Ltd, was appointed as SNC's new permanent CEO in October.

SNC has nominated Jacques Bougie, the former head of Alcan; Lise Lachapelle, former head of the Forest Products Association of Canada; and Alain Rhéaume, co-founder and managing partner of Trio Capital Inc, as new independent board members.

The company said the new board nominees follow the additions made in 2012 of independent directors Eric Siegel and Chakib Sbiti, as well as President and CEO Robert Card, all of whom are also standing for election as directors at the upcoming meeting.