Sonova Holding’s chairman, chief executive and CFO all resigned today after an independent investigation found insiders traded shares in the lead-up to a profit warning.
The investigation, conducted by law firm Homburger, said the company had failed to enforce a blackout period in the trading of shares and options early enough. In addition, the inquiry found the profit warning was issued too late.
On March 16, Sonova, a manufacturer of hearing aids, released a profit warning blaming a product recall, weak growth and currency swings for a drop in sales.
In the run-up to the profit warning, internal rules ‘were not enforced’ and there were ‘weaknesses in internal processes’, Sonova said in a statement today.
As a result of the investigation’s findings, chief executive Valentin Chapero, CFO Oliver Walker and chairman Andy Rihs all stepped down from their positions.
The company’s internal policies state that the CEO and CFO are responsible for imposing a trading ban, and this is one of the reasons Chapero and Walker resigned, said new chairman Robert Spoerry on a conference call this morning.
Chapero and Walker also resigned to help the company draw a line under this incident, added Spoerry.
Rihs said in a statement: ‘Even though the internal investigation concluded that I carried out my share transactions of March 8 in good faith, as chairman of the board of directors I too am partly responsible for the shortcomings that happened.’