By  on January 13, 2006

PARIS — After less than five months on the job as president of the management board of ST Dupont, Marc Lelandais has exited the troubled French luxury house.

In a terse statement, the firm said Lelandais' departure after a board meeting on Tuesday.

Sources said Lelandais, a former Escada executive, and ST Dupont's majority shareholder, Dickson Poon, had butted heads over how to turn around the house, known for its high-end lighters and pens.

A company spokeswoman said Lelandais' adieu would not jeopardize Poon's pledge to keep the debt-ridden firm operational with a capital infusion of 42 million euros, or $50.8 million at current exchange. She declined to comment further.

But sources said Lelandais presented his final plan to revive the firm on Tuesday, and that he and Poon did not see eye-to-eye on the details.

Trading in the shares of ST Dupont was suspended on the Paris Bourse on Oct. 24 after the house warned investors of a sharp decline in full-year profits. Losses this year are expected to reach about 20 million euros, or $24.2 million at current exchange.

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