The CEO at the bank Credit Suisse has stepped down after a scandal involving corporate spying, according to a report by CNBC.
CEO Tidjane Thiam will be replaced by the current head of the bank’s Swiss unit, Thomas Gottstein.
The Credit Suisse board of directors released a statement on Friday (Feb. 7) saying Thiam will step down on Feb. 14. The board accepted Thiam’s resignation unanimously, it said, after the leader presented the company’s Q4 and yearly results. Chairman Urs Rohner said Thiam made an “enormous contribution” to the bank, and has been doing so since he joined five years ago.
“Under Tidjane’s leadership, Credit Suisse simultaneously repurposed our strategy, restored our capital, reduced our costs, de-risked our business, promoted diversity and engendered an exceptional level of co-operation between various divisions,” he said. “It is to his credit that Credit Suisse is standing on a very solid foundation and has returned successfully to profit.”
In a statement of his own, Thiam said he was proud of his accomplishments and that his team “turned Credit Suisse around.” He said he would enthusiastically support his former colleagues.
Thiam, who is French-Ivorian, moved to Credit Suisse from Prudential in 2015. The company’s shares dipped 4.2 percent on the news.
The spying scandal involved ex wealth management head Iqbal Khan, who was going to leave to work at UBS, and who was followed by hired men to see if he was taking colleagues or clients with him. An investigation showed that Thiam had zero idea what was going on.
“I had no knowledge of the observation of two former colleagues. It undoubtedly disturbed Credit Suisse and caused anxiety and hurt. I regret that this happened and it should never have taken place,” Thiam said on Friday.
After an investigation, COO Pierre-Olivier Bouee, who said he acted independently, was fired, but that raised questions of how one of Thiam’s top executives could have acted on his own without the CEO’s knowledge.