Former Federated CEO Indicted For Perjury
By George Anderson
The Financial Times reports a grand jury in New York has accused James Zimmerman, the former chief executive of Federated Department Stores, of lying under oath for denying he tried to persuade Waterford Wedgewood’s former chairman, Sir Anthony O’Reilly, not to sell his company’s products to Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Both companies made out-of-court settlements with the New York Attorney General’s office on the charges last year. Federated paid $900,000 and Waterford $500,000 to settle the charges. Neither company admitted any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.
May Department Stores and Lenox were also part of the earlier case and each company also reached a monetary settlement that did not require any admission of wrongdoing.
Mr. Zimmerman’s indictment results from testimony he gave in that case where he denied having any discussions with anyone from Waterford Wedgewood about Bed, Bath & Beyond. The indictment claims Mr. Zimmerman lied on this point.
Thomas Fitzpatrick, attorney for Mr Zimmerman, said this isn’t a case about perjury claiming his client was “indicted for failing to recall a portion of a single, brief telephone conversation that occurred almost three years before his testimony”.
Mr. Zimmerman retired from Federated last February.
Moderator’s Comment: How level is the competitive playing field in retailing in regards to deals made between trading partners? Are large retailers,
as apparently was done in the Federated/May/Warterford Wedgewood and Lenox case, engaging in anti-competitive activity? –
George Anderson – Moderator