Credit Suisse Ousts CEO amid Illegal Surveillance Scandal

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Credit Suisse Ousts CEO amid Illegal Surveillance Scandal
Photo: Shutterstock

Important changes have come to Credit Suisse. Tidjane Thiam will be stepping down next week from his position as CEO following a long-drawn surveillance scandal.

Credit Suisse AG CEO Tidjane Thiam will no longer serve the firm as from Friday the 14th of February. The development was brought to light through an official press release from the financial services company published earlier today.

Credit Suisse CEO Departs

According to the statement, the board of directors unanimously accepted Thiam’s resignation. The announcement also specifies that Thomas Gottstein will be the new group CEO. 

Speaking on his departure Thiam said:

“I am proud of what the team has achieved during my tenure…[and] will be an enthusiastic supporter of my colleagues, as they continue to build momentum in the business. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all at Credit Suisse for their support in my work [and] will be forever grateful.”

The statement released by Credit Suisse does not seem to reveal a lot of the undesired events that took place in the background. These events are presumably what led to the CEO’s exit.

Credit Suisse CEO Turmoil

The CEO’s departure follows a widely-known scandal at the bank. It started last year when the bank’s Wealth Management chief Iqbal Khan left Credit Suisse to join rival company UBS. It was alleged that private detectives were hired to spy on Khan to figure out whether or not he was taking any co-workers or clients along.

The development sparked an internal investigation which was handled by a third party, the Homburger law firm. The investigation concluded that Thiam had no idea that Khan was being spied on.

Commenting on the situation, Thiam said:

“I had no knowledge of the observation of two former colleagues. It undoubtedly disturbed Credit Suisse and cost anxiety and hurt. I regret that this happened and it should never have taken place.”

The investigation concluded that the COO at the time Pierre-Olivier Bouee was behind the surveillance. Although Bouee was let go, the situation caused people to suspect Thiam’s involvement. People suggested that it was almost impossible for something like that to be carried out by one of Thiam’s executives without his knowledge.

Things got worse when one of the hired private investigators committed suicide.

In a Bloomberg reportCredit Suisse board chairman Urs Rohner admitted just how badly the situation unnerved the bank. According to him the company’s reputation and credibility took a hit.

The decision to oust Thiam, however, did not sit very well with some shareholders. Eminence Capital, a Credit Suisse shareholder, spoke through its CEO, Ricky Sandler.

“The growing discord between the chairman and CEO is untenable and needs to be resolved immediately. We have become increasingly disappointed with actions taken by the board of directors, which has displayed an utter lack of support for its CEO.”

The New CEO

Thomas Gottstein, the new CEO, has over 30 years of banking experience with 20 of that in Credit Suisse. He is the current CEO of Credit Suisse Switzerland and has significant experience with both private and investment banking. Gottstein is also on the board of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Business News, News
Related Articles