Thibault de Montbrial, an attorney for Matthieu Tenenbaum, one of the three Renault S.A. executives accused of selling company secrets, said the company told his client to “go quietly” and “keep the money.” Montbrial said Renault’s legal director, Christian Husson, said Tenenbaum could resign and escape punishment during a meeting on Jan. 3, 2011.
However, Renault spokeswoman Caroline de Gezelle said Husson had made no such suggestion.
She said that Tenenbaum “had the choice to resign but not to keep the money.” On Jan. 5, 2011, Renault said it suspended three executives without pay after an ethics probe.
Tenenbaum and the two other managers, upstream development chief Michel Balthazard and his deputy Bertrand Rochette, denied selling EV secrets, disputed their subsequent dismissals and filed criminal defamation claims.
On Jan. 13, 2011, Industry Minister Eric Besson said Renault kept its discovery of the leaks from the government until it was reported by the French media. Renault filed espionage charges against persons unknown with Paris prosecutors the same day. [via autonews - sub. required]