SNC names Lawrence Stevenson as its new chairman

TORONTO (Reuters) - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc SNC.TO said on Monday Lawrence Stevenson has replaced Ian Bourne as chairman of its board, effective immediately.

The company said Bourne, who led SNC through a difficult period amid a swirling bribery scandal, has decided to step down as both a director and chairman. SNC did not provide any reasons for his departure.

Last month, Canadian police brought corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin, the first time the engineering company was directly charged with alleged bribery as it conducted business in Libya over a ten-year period until 2011.

Scandals involving aleged corruption and bribery at SNC’s Libyan operations emerged three years ago and led to the ouster of SNC’s former chief executive, Pierre Duhaime, in 2012, after the discovery of millions in missing funds. Other former SNC executives, too, stand accused of fraud and criminal offenses by law enforcement authorities in different countries.

Bourne, who has served as a director since 2009, stepped in as interim CEO of the company from March 2012 to October 2012, and has chaired the board since May 2013.

Stevenson, is the founder and former head of Canadian book store chain Chapters, which is now owned by Indigo Books and Music Inc IDG.TO. He has been a director on SNC's board since 1999.

Reporting by Euan Rocha