Jean-Marie Messier has retained his position as chairman of the world's second-largest media group - despite the departure of the fifth board member this year and a temporary dive in Vivendi Universal share value to a 13-year low.

Yesterday, June 25, Vivendi Universal shares rebounded to $19.80 following a turbulent slide likely triggered by the resignation of Messier ally Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods company LVMH, reportedly France's second wealthiest individual and six-year Vivendi board member.

Having stated only last week that his aim was to keep Vivendi out of the headlines, this latest upset will only fuel the conflict between the French and US factions over Messier's leadership. Significantly, Arnault's exit has left the 14-member board equally divided between French and non-French members.

And that Arnault reportedly 'stormed out' ahead of a key board meeting could further undermine Messier's control of the troubled company.

In a statement on Tuesday (June 25) Vivendi said it would seek to reduce its debt by $3.9bn (Euros 4bn) by the end of the year. In addition, it said it would hold investor conference calls twice a month "in order to put an end to negative and continuous rumours about the company"."