LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, March 31, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — A senior employee at global pharmaceutical companies Alvogen and Alvotech blew the whistle on death threats, personal vendettas and assaults carried out by CEO Robert Wessman against colleagues and former business associates. He believes the process to investigate his claims was not objective and did not protect his rights as a whistleblower, demonstrating serious corporate governance failings at Alvogen and Alvotech.
Halldor Kristmannsson, former Vice President Global Corporate Marketing, Media & Investor Relations and Company Culture for Alvogen, is deeply concerned that Mr. Wessman’s actions, as described in a legal letter to the boards of sister companies Alvogen and Alvotech on 20 January, constitute a serious threat to the Alvo-family companies and their shareholders, employees, and future plans. The allegations against Mr. Wessman include assaulting staff, including Mr. Kristmannsson himself, and making death threats against senior former employees – something that Mr Wessman only publicly acknowledged after the allegations came to light in Iceland on Monday.
Mr. Kristmannsson has described how Mr. Wessman has attempted to use company resources in his pursuit of personal vendettas against senior figures in Iceland, including high-ranking local officials, an international investor, and a senior Icelandic journalist, which included knowingly making false allegations of serious criminal behaviour in an attempt to undermine their careers and public standing. After refusing to pursue a personal vendetta of Mr. Wessman in the media, Mr. Kristmannsson decided to blow the whistle and report his allegations to the board of directors.
Mr. Kristmannsson commented: “The kind of abusive and manipulative behaviour exhibited by Robert Wessman has been allowed to continue for too long and must stop now. Making death threats to former employees over text message, actively pursuing personal vendettas and punching people in the face without warning are not the signs of an executive under control, or a company in good health. I encourage the board and investors presented with evidence of his inappropriate and abusive behaviour to take action to uphold the values of the company and secure its future.”
Recent media reports note that the internal investigation carried out by White & Case and led by Tomas Ekman, an independent board member representing shareholder CVC Capital Partners, exonerated Mr. Wessman. Mr. Kristmannsson has evidence of wrongdoing and believes that Mr. Wessman was able to influence the outcome of the investigation in his favour. Early attempts by Mr. Kristmannsson to speak to Mr. Ekman directly were blocked, and Mr. Kristmannsson was denied information about the composition of the investigative committee. The public declaration of the results of the investigation, which had not been mentioned in legal correspondence between both sides, shows that the process was subject to serious failings and lacked independence.
Commenting on the outcome of the investigation, Mr. Kristmannsson said:
“It is clear to me that the process set up to investigate these claims was not independent or objective. There was no transparency around the identity of those leading the inquiry, while my efforts to assist the investigation were repeatedly and unnecessarily undermined. Given his position of control over the company, I believe that Mr. Wessman was ultimately in control of the investigation and that its result was a foregone conclusion. Alvogen’s recent statement only confirms that Mr. Wessman is attempting to manipulate the process and dictate the outcome of the investigation. The investigation is a whitewash and akin to Alvogen marking their own homework. Where is the duty of care to their own staff and how can anyone have confidence in their corporate governance?”
Mr. Kristmannsson has not made any financial claims against the companies, despite claims in Mr Wessman’s media statement on 29 March to the contrary, but has made firm demands for the removal of Mr. Wessman and permission to return to his role.
For more information, documentary evidence or to speak with Mr. Kristmannsson, please contact him on:
+354 793 0860
For the editors:
Bloomberg’s report on the allegations can be found here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-29/drugmaker-ceo-cleared-after-former-executive-alleged-bullying
Further reporting in Icelandic media:
Wessman said to have used violence and conspiracy to slander via campaigns in the media – The Core https://kjarninn.is/frettir/segir-robert-wessman-hafa-beitt-ofbeldi-og-lagt-a-radin-um-rogsherferdir-i-fjolmidlum/
Robert Wessman’s removal demanded – Rikisutvarp (RUV) https://www.ruv.is/frett/2021/03/29/krefst-brottvikningar-roberts-wessman
“Murder threats, assaults and outrageous allegations” – Morgunbladid https://www.mbl.is/vidskipti/frettir/2021/03/29/mordhotanir_og_likamsarasir/
Robert’s SMS to his former colleagues: “You are dead I promise” (Wessman’s spokesperson issues apology for death threats) – Stundin: https://stundin.is/grein/13172/sms-roberts-til-fyrrverandi-samstarfsmanna-sinna-thu-ert-daudur-eg-lofa/
Halldor did not make financial demands of Alvogen (with proof showing legal correspondence) – Morgunbladid https://www.mbl.is/vidskipti/frettir/2021/03/29/halldor_segist_ekki_hafa_gert_fjarkrofur_a_alvogen/
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