Abuse of power behind Dong CEO’s dismissal
Dong Energy’s former CEO, Anders Eldrup, abused his position to give extraordinary salaries to a handful of employees without the consent of the company’s board, it was revealed today.
Eldrup abruptly left his position at Dong Energy on Monday and in a press release the company stated that it was a mutual decision between Eldrup and the board.
Despite initial silence around the reasons for Eldrup’s dismissal, immediate speculation linked Eldrup’s departure to the ongoing investigation by government auditors into Dong Energy, which is 76 percent owned by the Danish government.
Today’s revelations in Jyllands-Posten newspaper allege that Eldrup abused his power and wasted millions of kroner by hiring employees from the Ministry of Finance, where he worked from 1973 to 2001 before joining Dong.
Many individuals were given salaries of up to four million kroner and severance packages of about ten million kroner that could not be justified by the positions they occupied.
“We are talking about severance packages amounting to five to ten million kroner per employee and salaries fit for executives without them having executive responsibilities,” an anonymous source told Jyllands-Posten.
Dong Energy confirmed the allegations today, which stem from an ongoing investigation by government auditors after they an anonymous tip in January.
“As the case now stands, it seems that there are a handful of employees who have been granted very lucrative salaries and employment conditions without the approval of the board,” Dong Energy’s press chief, Karsten Anker Petersen, told Jyllands-Posten.
After the announcement of Eldrup’s sudden dismissal on Monday, speculated swirled over whether he was in line to receive the 17 million kroner in compensation he is entitled to in the case of a sudden dismissal.
But the Socialdemokrater have warned that if Eldrup is found to have abused his position, he won’t stand to receive any compensation.
Their financial spokesperson, John Dyrby Paulsen, told Berlingske newspaper that the investigation into the true extent of the abuse had only just begun and Eldrup’s claim to compensation would have to be examined and settled by legal experts.