The chairman of Vinci, the French contractor that owns Norwest Holst, has resigned in the wake of a boardroom bust-up.

The departure of Antoine Zacharias was prompted by a row with Xavier Huillard, Vinci's chief executive, who was appointed five months ago to take over the day-to-day running of the business.

It is understood that Huillard objected to the financial perks enjoyed by Zacharias, such as a luxury flat in Paris.

In a statement Vinci said that Zacharias had informed the board of his resignation on Thursday night "in the best interests of the company and to put an end to the troubles within its management".

Zacharias also headed Vinci's nomination and remuneration committee, as well as the committee responsible for development and strategy.

Huillard objected to the perks enjoyed by Zacharias, such as a luxury flat in Paris

When the two men fell out, Zacharias tried to replace Huillard with Alain Dinin, the head of property company Nexity, who had been on the Vinci board for 10 years, but failed to win the backing of his board.

In the statement, Vinci said Huillard had the full backing of the board and would continue with the company's current strategy. The French markets responded to the news positively after months of tension at the company, and shares in Vinci rose 5.3% to *75.95 (£52.3).

John Stanion, chairman and chief executive of Vinci in the UK, paid tribute to Zacharias. He said: "Having laid solid foundations for further growth and development, the resignation of Mr Zacharias will have no impact upon the future success of Vinci."