Tronox Chairman Takes Leave of Absence Amid SEC Complaints


Tronox Holdings Plc said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffry N. Quinn will take a leave of absence after he found out he was referenced as an unnamed individual in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil and related criminal complaint.

The investigations relate to alleged insider trading in the shares of Ferro Corp. in February and March of 2016, when Quinn was a director of the company, according to a statement by Tronox. Quinn left that role in August that year, and was appointed president and CEO of Tronox in December 2017, later becoming chairman in March 2019.

Quinn became aware of the government investigations leading to the filings on Dec. 24, his lawyers said.

“Mr. Quinn has at all times fully complied with applicable securities laws and looks forward to a public airing of all relevant facts as soon as practicable,” James D. Wareham and Evan T. Barr, serving as counsel to Quinn, said in a separate statement.

Tronox said John D. Romano, who’s the chief commercial and strategy officer, and Jean-François Turgeon, chief operating officer, will be co-CEOs on an interim basis, while retaining their respective responsibilities.

Ilan Kaufthal, the lead independent director, will be interim chairman. He said that the appointments of the co-CEOs are in the best interest of the company and investors as it monitors the developments following the complaints. “The board’s focus on maintaining a robust governance and succession planning process enabled our swift response,” he added.

Shares of the maker of chemical products gained 27% this year, compared with the 15% increase in the S&P 500 Index.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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