Coffee-shop chain Alstom has announced that its chief executive will be stepping down following a controversy surrounding his relationship with the press.
Coffee-press owner David Lassiter resigned in February after it emerged that he was in contact with a journalist for the newspaper Le Monde.
The story, published on February 19, was one of several in which Lassit had compromised the company in order to gain favours from French press outlets.
In a statement on Thursday, Alstomo CEO Lasset said that he accepted responsibility for his behaviour and would be stepping down from his role as the company’s CEO at the end of the month.
“I do not believe that my behaviour has led to a lack of respect for the press,” he said.
“It is simply that the way in which I conduct myself and the way I behave towards journalists has led them to question my trustworthiness and my willingness to share information.
Alstom was founded in 1790 and is one of Europe’s biggest coffee chains.
It is one in the sector’s biggest names, with over a quarter of a million outlets across 28 countries.
A report from Business Insider last year said the firm had more than a billion coffees sold last year. Lassiter, who had served as president of Alsto until February, was reportedly in regular contact with a journalist for Le Monde in the run-up to the publication.
He has also previously been accused of harassing and intimidating a journalist.
(Reporting by Paul Wood, Editing by Ros Russell)