Avon Products Suspends Four Executives On Alleged Bribery: WSJ

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(RTTNews) – New York-based beauty products firm Avon Products, Inc. (AVP) has suspended four executives as part of the company’s internal investigation into alleged bribery that began with its China operation, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday citing a person familiar with the probe.

The investigation reportedly includes the alleged purchase of trips to France, New York, Canada and Hawaii for Chinese government officials with ties to Avon’s business.

As per the report, the company has suspended the China unit’s President S.K. Kao, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Beh, and head of the corporate affairs and government relations group C.Q. Sun. The fourth person was reportedly Ian Rossetter, a senior executive in New York and the company’s former head of internal audit. The report also said that Rossetter began a special assignment in mid-2009, reporting to Avon Chief Financial Officer Charles Cramb.

Further, the WSJ said that the suspensions in China took place last week while Rossetter was suspended on Monday. Citing an Avon spokeswoman, the newspaper stated that four employees had been asked to take administrative leaves of absence pending the outcome of the company’s investigation.

The report also stated that the scope of the probe currently involves a dozen or more countries including Latin America, with an increase in the scale of the alleged bribery, which initially involved several million dollars.

AVP closed Monday’s trading at $34.76, up $0.43, on a volume of 2.49 million shares.

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