express our deep gratitude to him for his contribution to the success of our Group.
Next May, pending on 2016 Shareholders Meeting decisions, the Board of Directors will combine the functions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and will nominate me as Chairman and CEO. One of my missions will be to continue to prepare the next CEO.When the future CEO is appointed, in a little over two years, we will revert to the separate functions of Chairman and CEO, because it has proven to be a good principle of governance.
Do you have any idea who might be BIC s next CEO?
B.B.: The Board of Directors sees my son, Gonzalve Bich, as a valid potential candidate. He has been with the Group for 14 years and has exercised various functional and operational positions, with equal passion. He is currently in charge of developing markets.
In the course of his tenure, Mario has carefully built up our senior management teams across the globe. Today, our Group can count on professionals of the highest caliber worldwide and on its strong family roots to guarantee our long-term strategic vision.
Your brother, François Bich, has also retired this year: another big change
B.B.: Indeed, this is a big change. François achieved excellence in terms of industrial processes, safety and product quality, market share gains, as well as profitability for over 40 years, that has made BIC today s uncontested leader in lighters in most of the world. François has trained his successor and, like Mario Guevara, remains a member of the Board. Their expertise and experience will be of great value to the future managers of the Group.
TODAY, OUR GROUP CAN COUNT ON PROFESSIONALS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER WORLDWIDE AND ON ITS STRONG FAMILY ROOTS TO GUARANTEE OUR LONG-TERM STRATEGIC VISION. Bruno Bich
5.90 TOTAL DIVIDEND PER SHARE PAID (3.40 EUROS ORDINARY DIVIDEND AND 2.50 EUROS EXCEPTIONAL DIVIDEND)