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Chemours CEO resigns following ethical inquiry into top executives financial deals


The Chemours Company, a global petrochemical company that polluted the Cape Fear River basin with toxic PFAS via its Fayetteville Works plant, has agreed to part ways with CEO Mark Newman after he and other top executives misrepresented company transactions in an attempt to boost their pay incentives.

Newman resigned on March 22, the same day Chemours announced that interim CEO Denise Dignam would immediately take over leadership of the company.

The company’s CFO and top accounting executive, who were also involved in manipulating finances, were placed on leave while the company’s investigation was in process; Chemours has not yet announced its permanent replacements, but said interim CFO Matthew Abbott will continue in the position while the company searches for a permanent CFO. 

The leadership change comes after Chemours' audit committee investigation — prompted by an anonymous tip to the company’s ethics hotline  — concluded that the executives had violated the company’s code of ethics when they diverted cash flow to increase their bonuses, Chemours said in a statement. 

The internal audit committee concluded there was “a lack of transparency with the Company’s Board of Directors by the members of senior management” who were put on administrative leave.

The audit committee also found problems with Chemours’ corporate reporting structure, including “inadequate controls and procedures” in relation to the evaluation of reports from the ethics hotline, and “poor judgment” by the employees handling the intake of the reports.

The internal turmoil among Chemours leadership comes as it faces a growing number of lawsuits for its decades-long water pollution, which has contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people in Fayetteville and the surrounding areas.

Contact Evey Weisblat at eweisblat@cityviewnc.com or 216-527-3608. 

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PFAS, Chemours