The chief executive of major France-based retirement home operator Orpea was removed on Sunday, the company board said in a statement following allegations of patient abuse and hygiene negligence.
Orpea boss Yves Le Masne will leave the company with immediate effect, the statement said, without stating a reason but noting the non-executive chairman would replace him.
The homes came under scrutiny following the publication of book “The Gravediggers” by independent journalist Victor Castanet, which cites employees and relatives claiming that residents are at times left for hours with soiled underwear or go days without care as managers seek to maximise profit margins.
The scandal has drawn widespread condemnation from officials and calls for inspections of the upscale Orpea homes by the authorities.
Orpea has contested the claims as “untruthful, scandalous and injurious”, but said it had asked two independent firms to evaluate them.
It also denied a claim by Castanet that he was offered 15 million euros ($17 million) by an “intermediary” to drop his investigation.
“The board of directors of the Orpea group, meeting on January 30, 2022, decided to end the service of Yves Le Masne,” the company said in the statement.
The company’s non-executive chairman would become chairman and CEO with immediate effect, it added.
Orpea operates nearly 1,200 homes worldwide, with around 350 of them in France.
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