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Scandal fallout Vice-chairman of Swiss Post resigns

Vice President of Swiss Post Adriano P. Vassalli

Vice-chairman of the board of Swiss Post Adriano Vassalli in an archive picture from March 2017

(Keystone)

The vice-chairman of the board of Swiss Post, Antonio Vassalli, will step down at the general assembly on June 26, it was announced on Saturday evening.

In a personal press release sent to various media outlets, Vassalli,external link who also chairs the company's Audit & Compliance Committee, said that the move would help move towards a new beginning, according to Swiss public television SRF. He informed Communications Minister Doris Leuthard and other board members of his decision on Saturday, he added.

Vassalli said diverse allegations that had been made against him, which he denied. This included that he was aware of an internal note from August 2013 pointing to a certain type of accounting problem.  

His resignation follows that with immediate effect of the head of Swiss Post,external link Susanne Ruoff, over a subsidies scandal at the company’s subsidiary, PostBus, on June 11. 

All of the managers of Swiss PostBus have also been discharged.

+ More on Ruoff’s resignation here

Swiss Post told SRFexternal link that it had taken note of Vassalli’s resignation. Further steps would be decided at an extra meeting of the board in the next weeks, the company’s spokesman added. Leuthard’s departmentexternal link also said it was aware of the resignation. In a statement it said that it would help with a new start at Swiss Post.

Ruoff and Swiss Post have been under intense scrutiny since a Transport Office audit last year discovered that PostBus – known for its alpine network of yellow commuter buses – had manipulated accounts between 2007 and 2015 to pocket millions in federal and cantonal subsidies.

Ruoff said she took responsibility for the activities involving the irregularities in connection with federal and cantonal subsidies. However, she said she had been unaware of the irregularities which had already occurred before her time as the head of the Swiss Post and had relied on internal and external controls.

+ Federal police launch proceedings into PostBus subsidies scandal

In addition to the post’s ongoing internal investigation into the matter, administrative criminal proceedings have been opened in connection with subsidiary company’s financial irregularities.

SDA-ATS/SRF/ilj

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