Jean-Marie Messier delivers his version of events during his tumultous reign at Vivendi Universal, with the publication in France today of "Mon Vrai Journal" (My True Diary).
Excerpts of the book already published in Le Monde reveal the work to be not quite a tell-all nor a memoir, but more of a cautionary tale detailing what Messier feels he did wrong and pointing a finger at those he feels betrayed him.
Notable is Messier's ire towards Claude Bebear, the former president of insurance behemoth Axa. Messier accuses Bebear of orchestrating his demise by spreading falsehoods about him, manipulating executives and ensuring that the current heads of the company are men from his camp.
However, Messier doesn't shy away from self-criticism, even if it's tinged with bitterness. When listing his mistakes, he says "My first error was definitely to not have acted faster and more radically on the definitive separation between Vivendi Environment and Vivendi Universal," an operation that was set in motion by his successor Jean-Rene Fourtou last week.
He also takes another shot at Pierre Lescure, "I waited too long to change the team at Canal Plus and remove Pierre Lescure from his responsibilities'.I was wrong to allow myself to be seduced by the man and intimidated by the icon."
Messier admits half-heartedly, "Maybe we did too much too quickly" and concludes his misteps - with unintentional irony - lamenting, "My over-communication. I didn't listen to the repeated warnings of my collaborators, my friends, my wife."