Manager’s booking fraud forces Sidler to resign as Panalpina CEO
Bruno Sidler, group chief executive officer at Swiss-owned forwarding and logistics group Panalpina has resigned after an unnamed manager at Panalpina Airfreight Management Ltd. was found to have manipulated the booking records over a period of 14 months leading to a loss of about CHF 33 million ($25.7 million).
Panalpina said the manager, who had been with the company for more than 20 years, “deliberately and systematically circumvented internal control mechanisms.” Panalpina unearthed the manipulated figures in mid-December. An internal investigation found the manipulation of booking records to be an isolated incident. “At this point in time, there is no indication of an unjustified personal enrichment of the said employee,” Panalpina said. The company has decided to press criminal charges.
Panalpina estimated that the incident will have a negative impact on its operating results for 2005 by about CHF 22 million ($17.2 million) and CHF 11 million ($8.6 million) from the 2004 results, although it still expects a net profit for 2005 in excess of that achieved in 2004.
Following the resignation of Bruno Sidler, Panalpina chairman Gerhard Fischer has taken over the CEO position on an ad interim basis.